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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 30, Issue 1, Spring 2016

Adrian Bunn
Pages 133-147

Life Extension and Future Generations

Future technology may dramatically extend the human lifespan. Peter Singer (1991) argues that we should reject life extension because developing it would result in a world with lower total and average happiness. Singer’s argument depends on the claim that we should maximise average happiness per moment. I will argue that developing the life-extending drug would not be impermissible because doing so will maximise average happiness per person. I offer an independent argument for why we should adopt a consequentialist principle which says to maximise average happiness per person.