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Lawlor, R. (2006)
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Languages: English
Types: Article
In his paper, “Should the Numbers Count?" John Taurek imagines that we are in a position such that we can either save a group of five people, or we can save one individual, David. We cannot save David and the five. This is because they each require a life-saving drug. However, David needs all of the drug if he is to survive, while the other five need only a fifth each.Typically, people have argued as if there was a choice to be made: either numbers matter, in which case we should save the greater number, or numbers don't matter, but rather there is moral value in giving each person an equal chance of survival, and therefore we should toss a coin. My claim is that we do not have to make a choice in this way. Rather, numbers do matter, but it doesn't follow that we should always save the greater number. And likewise, there is moral value in giving each person an equal chance of survival, but it doesn't follow that we should always toss a coin.In addition, I argue that a similar approach can be applied to situations in which we can save one person or another, but the chances of success are different.
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    • Kamm, F., Nonconsequentualism in Hugh LaFollette ed. The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory, Blackwell Publishers, 2000, pp. 205-227.
    • Mulgan, T., The Demands of Consequentialism, Oxford University Press, 2001.
    • Norcross, A., Comparing Harms: Headaches and Human Lives, Philosophy and Public Affairs 26, no. 2 (1997), 135-67.
    • Norcross, A., Speed Limits, Human Lives, and Convenience. A Reply to Ridge, Philosophy and Public Affairs 27, no. 1 (1998), pp. 59-64.
    • Otsuka, M., Scanlon and the claims of the many versus the one, Analysis 60 (2000), pp. 288-93.
    • Parfit, D., Innumerate Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs 7, no. 4 (1978) pp. 285-301.
    • Ridge, M., How To Avoid Being Driven to Consequentialism: A Comment on Norcross, Philosophy and Public Affairs 27, no. 1 (1998) pp. 50- 58.
    • Scanlon, T., What We Owe to Each Other, Harvard University Press, 1998.
    • Taurek, J., Should the numbers count? Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (1977), pp. 293-316.
  • No related research data.
  • Discovered through pilot similarity algorithms. Send us your feedback.

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    Outline of a taxonomy of approaches to aggregation


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