### Citation:

Frick, Johann. “Context-Dependent Betterness and the Mere Addition Paradox”. Ethics and Existence: The Legacy of Derek Parfit, edited by Jeff McMahan, Tim Campbell, James Goodrich, and Ketan Ramakrishnan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming. Print.

### Abstract:

This paper proposes a new solution to Derek Parfit’s Mere Addition Paradox. I argue that the paradox trades on an ambiguity about the context of choice. There is a sense in which*all three*intuitive judgments about Parfit’s case are true, namely as pairwise comparisons in a

*two-possible*case, i.e. in a choice situation where the option set contains only

*these two*outcomes. The air of paradox arises from the assumption that these pairwise judgments carry over to a

*three-possible*case, in which all three outcomes are possible. But this, I argue, is not the case. If sound, this argument shows how we can make sense of each of our pairwise intuitions in the Mere Addition Paradox, without incurring the cost of intransitivity

*within an option set*. This solves the Mere Addition Paradox and blocks the argument towards the Repugnant Conclusion.