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BETTER NEVER TO HAVE BEEN BELIEVED: BENATAR ON THE HARM OF EXISTENCE

  • Campbell Brown (a1)
Abstract

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.

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

C. Fehige 1998. A pareto principle for possible people. In Preferences, ed. C. Fehige and U. Wessels , 508543. Berlin: de Gruyter.

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Economics & Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0266-2671
  • EISSN: 1474-0028
  • URL: /core/journals/economics-and-philosophy
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