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  • Cited by 4
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Barrie, Stephen 2015. QALYs, euthanasia and the puzzle of death. Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 41, Issue. 8, p. 635.

    Smuts, Aaron 2014. To Be or Never to Have Been: Anti-Natalism and a Life Worth Living. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol. 17, Issue. 4, p. 711.

    Benatar, David 2013. Still Better Never to Have Been: A Reply to (More of) My Critics. The Journal of Ethics, Vol. 17, Issue. 1-2, p. 121.

    Gyngell, Chris 2012. Enhancing the Species: Genetic Engineering Technologies and Human Persistence. Philosophy & Technology, Vol. 25, Issue. 4, p. 495.



  • Campbell Brown (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 18 January 2011

In Better Never to Have Been, David Benatar argues that existence is always a harm (Benatar 2006: 18–59). His argument, in brief, is that this follows from a theory of personal good which we ought to accept because it best explains several ‘asymmetries’. I shall argue here (a) that Benatar's theory suffers from a defect which was already widely known to afflict similar theories, and (b) that the main asymmetry he discusses is better explained in a way which allows that existence is often not a harm.

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D. Benatar 2006. Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

K. Binmore and A. Voorhoeve . 2003. Defending transitivity against Zeno's paradox. Philosophy and Public Affairs 31: 272279.

J. Broome 2004. Weighing Lives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

J. Parsons 2003. Why the handicapped child case is hard. Philosophical Studies 112: 147162.

S. Rachels 1998. Counterexamples to the transitivity of better than. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (1): 7183.

L. S. Temkin 1996. A continuum argument for intransitivity. Philosophy and Public Affairs 25 (3): 175210.

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Economics & Philosophy
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