Tim Mulgan

Tim Mulgan
University of Auckland · Department of Philosophy

BA (hons), DPhil

About

36
Publications
1,348
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328
Citations

Publications

Publications (36)
Article
This paper asks how rule‐consequentialism might adapt to very adverse futures, and whether moderate liberal consequentialism can survive into broken futures and/or futures where humanity faces imminent extinction. The paper first recaps the recent history of rule‐consequentialist procreative ethics. It outlines rule‐consequentialism, extends it to...
Book
Cambridge Core - Philosophy: General Interest - Utilitarianism - by Tim Mulgan
Article
Full-text available
We need an account of corporate agency that is temporally robust—one that will help future people to cope with challenges posed by corporate groups in a range of credible futures. In particular, we need to bequeath moral resources that enable future people to avoid futures dominated by corporate groups that have no regard for human beings. This pap...
Article
Utilitarians must think collectively about the future because many contemporary moral issues require collective responses to avoid possible future harms. But current rule utilitarianism does not accommodate the distant future. Drawing on my recent books Future People and Ethics for a Broken World, I defend a new utilitarianism whose central ethical...
Article
Drawing on the author's recent book Ethics for a Broken World, this article explores the philosophical implications of the fact that climate change – or something like it – might lead to a broken world where resources are insufficient to meet everyone's basic needs, and where our affluent way of life is no longer an option. It argues that the broke...
Article
I explore the moral implications of four possible futures: a broken future where our affluent way of life is no longer available; a virtual future where human beings spend their entire lives in Nozick's experience machine; a digital future where humans have been replaced by unconscious digital beings; and a theological future where the existence of...
Article
In this article the editor of the Philosophical Quarterly briefly outlines the editorial process at that journal; explains why it is foolhardy to attempt to predict the future of philosophy; and, finally, attempts such a prediction. Drawing on his recent book Ethics for a Broken World, he argues that climate change, or some other disaster, may lead...
Article
Climate change has obvious practical implications. It will kill millions of people, wipe out thousands of species, and so on. My question in this paper is much narrower. How might climate change impact on moral theory – and especially on the debate between utilitarians and their non-utilitarian rivals? I argue that climate change creates serious th...
Chapter
This paper explores the relationship between rule consequentialism and the non-identity problem. It argues that rule consequentialism accommodates person-affecting intuitions without abandoning Parfit’s no difference view. The paper also offers a new model of rule consequentialism—reinterpreting its various features as a series of departures from a...
Chapter
Under the Total View one possible outcome is better than another if and only if it contains more happiness. If the best way to increase total happiness is to greatly increase the number of people while greatly reducing their average happiness, then the Total View must advocate population growth. Derek Parfit uses this feature of the Total View to g...
Book
What do we owe to our descendants? How do we balance their needs against our own? Tim Mulgan develops a new theory of our obligations to future generations, based on a new rule-consequentialist account of the morality of individual reproduction. He argues that the resulting theory accounts for a wide range of independently plausible intuitions - co...
Article
The article discusses Michael Slote's Satisficing Consequentialism, which is the view that moral agents are not required to maximise the good, but merely to produce a sufficient amount of good. It is argued that Satisficing Consequentialism is not an acceptable alternative to Maximising Consequentialism. In particular, it is argued that Satisficing...
Article
Distinguant le consequentialisme individuel du consequentialisme collectif, d'une part, et le consequentialisme de l'acte du consequentialisme de la regle, d'autre part, l'A. montre que le principe cooperatif de bienfaisance defini par L. Murphy ne remplit pas la condition de conformite, selon laquelle la demande de bienfaisance d'un agent ne peut...
Article
Les theoriciens contemporains du liberalisme politique cherchent a rester neutres a l'egard des croyances metaphysiques ou religieuses controversees. Il existe indeniablement un desaccord en ce qui concerne ce qui nous arrive apres notre mort. Or, les institutions democratiques modernes n'accordent le droit de vote qu'aux vivants, negligeant des lo...
Article
A basic feature of liberal political philosophy is its commitment to religious neut-rality. Contemporary philosophical discussion of intergenerational justice violates this com-mitment, as it proceeds on the basis of controversial metaphysical assumptions. The Contractualist notion of a power imbalance between generations and Derek Parfit’s non-ide...
Article
Total utilitarianism implies Parfit's repugnant conclusion. For any world (A) containing ten billion very happy people, there is a better world (Z) where a vast number of people have lives barely worth living. One common response is to claim that life in Parfit's Z is better than he suggests, and thus that his conclusion is not repugnant. This pape...
Article
Full-text available
Any adequate political theory must provide a plausible account of our obligations to future generations. It must also derive those obligations from morally significant features of our relationship to those who will live in the future, not from contingent accidents of human biology. The Minimal Test outlined in this paper offers a simple way to asse...
Article
In Part Four of Reasons and Persons, Derek Parfit seeks Theory X – the Utilitarian account of the morality of choices where the number of people who will ever exist depends upon our actions. Parfit argues that X has yet to be found. The two simplest versions of Theory X are Total Utilitarianism and Average Utilitarianism. Unfortunately, Parfit argu...
Article
Traditional Consequentialism is based on a demanding principle of impartial maximization. Michael Slote's 'Satisficing Consequentialism' aims to reduce the demands of Consequentialism, by no longer requiring us to bring about the best possible outcome. This paper presents a new objection to Satisficing Consequentialism. We begin with a simple thoug...
Article
Etude de la distinction entre les notions d'action mauvaise et de culpabilite au sein de la theorie morale consequentialiste representee par D. Parfit. Examinant la conception radicale du choix moral, ainsi que la perspective psychologique de l'agent moral, l'A. defend l'unite des contrefactuels retroactifs (backtracking) et des contrefactuels stan...
Article
A common objection to consequentialism is that it makes unreasonable demands upon moral agents, by failing to allow agents to give special weight to their own personal projects and interests. A prominent recent response to this objection is that of Samuel Scheffler, who seeks to make room for moral agents by building agent-centred prerogatives into...
Article
Full-text available
In Part Four of Reasons and Persons, Derek Parfit seeks Theory X – the Utilitarian account of the morality of choices where the number of people who will ever exist depends upon our actions. Parfit argues that X has yet to be found. The two simplest versions of Theory X are Total Utilitarianism and Average Utilitarianism. Unfortunately, Parfit argu...
Article
Full-text available
Many themes of late twentieth century ethics are prefigured in Sidgwick's Method of Ethics. In particular, Sidgwick's 'Dualism of Practical Reason' sets the scene for current debates over the demands of morality. Many philosophers agree that Sidgwick uncovers a deep and troubling conflict at the heart of utilitarian ethics. But Sidgwick's own re- s...

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