Chapter

On the Value of Coming into Existence

Nils Holtug

in Persons, Interests, and Justice

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199580170
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580170.003.0005
On the Value of Coming into Existence

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This chapter concerns the issue of whether it can benefit (or harm) an individual to come into existence. If coming into existence can benefit (or harm) an individual, then it would seem that it could be in our self‐interest to do so. First, an argument for the Value of Existence View—the view that coming into existence can benefit (harm)—is outlined. This argument relies on the relational claim that existence can be better (worse) for an individual than never existing. The Value of Existence View is then defended against a number of objections, including the claim that (a) possible future individuals cannot be identified and (b) existence cannot be better (worse) for an individual than never existing, because that would imply that never existing can be worse (better) than existing.

Keywords: existence; value of existence; identifiability; logic of betterness; frustrationism; self‐interest

Chapter.  9334 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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