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BETTER NEVER TO HAVE BEEN BELIEVED: BENATAR ON THE HARM OF EXISTENCE

BETTER NEVER TO HAVE BEEN BELIEVED: BENATAR ON THE HARM OF EXISTENCE In Better Never to Have Been, David Benatar argues that existence is always a harm (Benatar 2006: 18–59). His argument, in brief, is that this follows from a theory of personal good which we ought to accept because it best explains several ‘asymmetries’. I shall argue here (a) that Benatar's theory suffers from a defect which was already widely known to afflict similar theories, and (b) that the main asymmetry he discusses is better explained in a way which allows that existence is often not a harm. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Economics & Philosophy Cambridge University Press

BETTER NEVER TO HAVE BEEN BELIEVED: BENATAR ON THE HARM OF EXISTENCE

Economics & Philosophy , Volume 27 (1): 8 – Mar 1, 2011

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Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011
ISSN
1474-0028
eISSN
0266-2671
DOI
10.1017/S0266267110000465
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In Better Never to Have Been, David Benatar argues that existence is always a harm (Benatar 2006: 18–59). His argument, in brief, is that this follows from a theory of personal good which we ought to accept because it best explains several ‘asymmetries’. I shall argue here (a) that Benatar's theory suffers from a defect which was already widely known to afflict similar theories, and (b) that the main asymmetry he discusses is better explained in a way which allows that existence is often not a harm.

Journal

Economics & PhilosophyCambridge University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2011

References