MICHAL MASNY

 

Overview:

My dissertation is about the view that certain valuable things are worth conserving even when a superior replacement is available. G. A. Cohen dubbed it 'Conservatism about Value'.

On the theoretical side, I examine what explains the presence of conservative reasons, how strong these reasons are, which things we have reasons to conserve, and who these reasons apply to.

On the practical side, I argue that this view illuminates old and new puzzles concerning: the shape of a life, the significance of progress, how one should direct their life at its different stages, end-of-life decisions, grief, and life extension technology, among other things.

Beyond that, I work on a variety of issues in normative ethics (population ethics and well-being), epistemology (inquiry, suspension of judgment, and epistemic consequentialism), and ethics of technology (life extension, privacy, and existential risk).

Publications:

4. What Should We Agree on about the Repugnant Conclusion?. Utilitas. (forthcoming). (with Stéphane Zuber and 27 co-authors) [abstract]

3. Schopenhauer on Suicide and Negation of the Will. The British Journal for the History of Philosophy. (2021). [abstract]

2. On Parfit's Wide Dual Person-Affecting Principle. The Philosophical Quarterly. (2020). [abstract]

1. Friedman on Suspended Judgment. Synthese. (2020). [abstract]

In progress / Under review:

A paper on the significance of progress – I explain why it is better for the history of humanity to feature a pattern of improvement rather than deterioration, other things equal.

A paper on conserving prudential goods – I develop a view which says that we have a moral reason to preserve certain prudential goods, such as loving relationships and important projects, even when a superior replacement is available.

A paper on the grounds of conservatism about value – I defend the view that we have a reason to preserve certain valuable things when and because this is an appropriate response to their value from a recent critique.

A paper on life extension technology – I argue that we have a justice-based reason to develop and widely distribute anti-ageing technology.

A paper on end-of-life decisions – I explain why we can have a moral reason to extend our lives even if the extra years would be bad for us and why we can have a moral reason not to extend our lives even if the extra years would be good for us.

A paper on wasted potential – I argue that how good a life is for an individual depends partly on facts about their potential.

A paper on epistemic demandingness – I defend epistemic consequentialism from a recent charge that it is overly demanding.

If you are interested in reading any of these papers, email me. I would be greatful for any comments, large or small.