more from Will Kymlicka

Single Idea 18625

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 9. Population / b. Human population]

Full Idea

Morally, should we double the population, even if it means reducing each person's welfare by almost half (since that will still increase overall utility)?

Gist of Idea

To maximise utility should we double the population, even if life somewhat deteriorates?

Source

Will Kymlicka (Contemporary Political Philosophy: Intro [1990], 2.4.b)

Book Reference

Kymlicka,Will: 'Contemporary Political Philosophy: an Intro' [OUP 1992], p.32


A Reaction

[He cites Derek Parfit for this] The key word is 'almost', which ensures a small increase in overall utility. I think this is a particularly good objection to utilitarianism, which aims to maximise an abstraction called 'utility'.