Feldman's Desert-Adjusted Utilitarianism and Population Ethics

Gustaf Arrheniusa1

a1 University of Oxford and Stockholm University, Gustaf.Arrhenius@philosophy.oxford.ac.uk


Fred Feldman has proposed a desert-adjusted version of utilitarianism, ‘justicism’, as a plausible population axiology. Among other things, he claims that justicism avoids Derek Parfit's ‘repugnant conclusion’. This paper explains the theory and tries to straighten out some of its ambiguities. Moreover, it is shown that it is not clear whether justicism avoids the repugnant conclusion and that it is has other counter-intuitive implications. It is concluded that justicism is not convincing as a population axiology.