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Document Details :
Title: Sufficiency and Population Ethics
Author(s): HUSEBY, Robert
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 19 Issue: 2 Date: 2012
Climate change highlights the relevance of population ethics. Should we attempt to maximize the combined welfare of future people? Many versions of Utilitarianism hold that we should. However, most Utilitarian theories have quite unpleasant implications when applied to all future generations. In this article, I consider the prospects for a Telic Sufficientarian theory of welfare (that encompasses population ethics). According to this theory, shortfalls from a sufficient level of welfare are morally bad, and this is all that matters as far as welfare is concerned (though things other than welfare may be morally relevant). Telic Sufficientarianism avoids the familiar problems haunting Utilitarian theories, but runs into trouble elsewhere. I argue that these problems are not fatal to the view.