Sorites on what matters
MetadataShow full item record
Ethics in the tradition of Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons is riddled with sorites-like arguments, which lead us by what seem innocent steps to seemingly false conclusions. Take, for example, spectrum arguments for the Repugnant Conclusion that appeal to slight differences in quality of life. Several authors have taken the view that, since spectrum arguments are structurally analogous to sorites arguments, the correct response to spectrum arguments is structurally analogous to the correct response to sorites arguments. This sorites analogy is here argued against. There are potential structural disanalogies between spectrum arguments and sorites arguments. But even if these arguments are relevantly structurally analogous, they differ in their content in ways that show the sorites analogy to be implausible. Two content-based disanalogies are here explored—one is inspired by Parfit’s work on reductionism, and the other involves hypersensitivity. The chapter concludes with a methodological lesson.
Pummer , T 2022 , Sorites on what matters . in J McMahan , T Campbell , J Goodrich & K Ramakrishnan (eds) , Ethics and existence : the legacy of Derek Parfit . vol. 2 , Oxford University Press , Oxford . https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780192894250.003.0019
Ethics and existence
Copyright © Oxford University Press 2022. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780192894250.003.0019
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.