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Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia

Volume 35, Issue 1, January 2020

Stephen J. Schmidt
Pages 113-128

Resources and the acceptability of the Repugnant Conclusion

Parfit’s Repugnant Conclusion argues, against intuition, that for any world A, another world Z with higher population and minimal well-being is better. That intuition is incorrect because the argument has not considered resources that support well-being. Z must have many more resources supporting well-being than A does. Z is repugnant because it spreads those resources among too many people; another world with Z’s resources and fewer people, if available, would be far superior. But Z is still better than A; it is worth accepting its very large population to get the resources needed to support their well-being.

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