Weak superiority, imprecise equality and the repugnant conclusion

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Derek Parfit defendsthe Imprecise Lexical Viewas a way to avoidthe Repugnant Conclusion. Allowing for 'imprecise equality', Parfit argues, makes it possible to avoid some well-known problems forthe Lexical View. It is demonstrated thatthe Lexical View(without imprecise equality) has stronger implications than envisaged by Parfit; moreover, his assumption ofNon-diminishing Marginal Valuemakesthe Lexical Viewcollapse into a much stronger view, which lets the two appear incompatible. Introducing imprecise equality does not address the latter problem. But it does makes it possible forthe Imprecise Lexical Viewto soften the discontinuities it would otherwise face, at the cost of blurring the difference between options. However, ifNon-diminishing Marginal Valueis rejected, the remaining complications for the resulting most plausible version ofthe Imprecise Lexical View, including a confrontation with Arrhenius'Non-Elitism Condition, may be within a range where the view largely remains defensible.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)294-315
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

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