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Egalitarianism and the Putative Paradoxes of Population Ethics


The repugnant conclusion is acceptable from the point of view of total utilitarianism. Total utilitarians do not seem to be bothered with it. They feel that it is in no way repugnant. To me, a hard-nosed total utilitarian, this settles the case. However, if, sometimes, I doubt that total utilitarianism has the final say in ethics, and tend to think that there may be something to some objection to it or another, it is the objection to it brought forward from egalitarian thought that first comes to mind. But if my argument in this article is correct, then it is clear that the repugnant conclusion should be equally acceptable to egalitarians of various different bents as it is to total utilitarians.

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1 Gustaf Arrhenius, ‘Egalitarianism and Population Change’, Intergenerational Justice, ed. A. Gosseries and L. Meyer (Oxford, forthcoming).

2 See Wlodek, Rabinowicz, ‘The Size of Inequality and its Badness – Some Reflections around Temkin's Inequality’, Theoria 69 (2003).

3 See Arrhenius, ‘Egalitarianism and Population Change’.

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  • ISSN: 0953-8208
  • EISSN: 1741-6183
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