We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Does the repugnant conclusion have any probative force?

Cowie, Christopher (2017) 'Does the repugnant conclusion have any probative force?', Philosophical studies., 174 (12). pp. 3021-3039.


In engaging with the repugnant conclusion many contemporary philosophers, economists and social scientists make claims about what a minimally good life is like. For example, some claim that such a life is quite good by contemporary standards, and use this to defend classical utilitarianism, whereas others claim that it is not, and use this to uphold the challenge that the repugnant conclusion poses to classical utilitarianism. I argue that many of these claims—by both sides—are not well-founded. We have no sufficiently clear sense of what a minimally good life is like. It is a result of this that the repugnant conclusion doesn’t license us in drawing any interesting conclusions.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:© The Author(s) 2016 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:24 October 2017
Date of first online publication:18 December 2016
Date first made open access:24 October 2017

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar