The Non-Identity Problem and the Ethics of Future People
Reviews and Awards
"Throughout this careful examination, Boonin employs thoughtful case studies and thought experiments that serve to engage the reader in the analysis. The result is a book that is likely to put this philosophical quandary to rest... Essential." --Choice
"...I think that, given his formulation, his argument is highly compelling. His negative arguments are thorough, clear, and insightful, and his positive arguments are illuminating. Anyone whose research relates to the non-identity problem -- and given the interdisciplinary nature of the problem, that is a large number of people -- would be well advised to read this book." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Online
"David Boonin's new book provides a wonderful opportunity to take a fresh look at what is perhaps the most important problem ever to arise within the area of population ethics. Brilliantly argued, perfectly organized, fascinating in content and accessible to a broad range of readers, The Non-Identity Problem and the Ethics of Future People marks a critical turning point in our efforts to understand the structure of moral law." --Melinda A. Roberts, co-author of Harming Future Persons.
"For almost forty years, philosophers have searched for an explanation of why it is wrong for us to bring about the existence of worse- rather than better-off people. In this thorough and methodical book, David Boonin argues that this search is misguided. He systematically reviews all the explanations that have been offered (at least all I know of), and makes a strong case that they either fail to explain the assumed wrong or explain it in ways that have even more implausible implications than denying the wrong. Some books are seminal, opening up a new field or inquiry; this book could be called "terminal," cogently arguing that we abandon a search that has been pursued with great resourcefulness and tenacity. Boonin leaves us with a conclusion that many will find disturbing, but some will find liberating: that we face far fewer moral constraints in the creation of future people than we commonly suppose." --David Wasserman