David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Ethics 16 (1):39-66 (2012)
This paper examines the efforts of contractualists to develop an alternative to aggregation to govern our duty not to harm (duty to rescue) others. I conclude that many of the moral principles articulated in the literature seem to reduce to aggregation by a different name. Those that do not are viable only as long as they are limited to a handful of oddball cases at the margins of social life. If extended to run-of-the-mill conduct that accounts for virtually all unintended (in the sense of undesired) harm to others—noncriminal activities that impose some risk of harm on others—they would rule out all action. Moreover, because such conduct poses an irreducible conflict between freedom of action and freedom from expected harm, it can be regulated only by principles that accept the necessity of making precisely the sorts of interpersonal trade-offs that contractualism is foundationally committed to reject: trade-offs in which the numbers count, such that a risk of serious harm to one person can be justified by small benefits to the many
|Keywords||Aggregation Contractualism Harm to others Scanlon|
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References found in this work BETA
Derek Parfit (2011). On What Matters. Oxford University Press.
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
F. M. Kamm (2007/2008). Intricate Ethics: Rights, Responsibilities, and Permissible Harm. New York ;Oxford University Press.
John Rawls (2009/2005). A Theory of Justice. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press 133-135.
Arthur Ripstein (2009). Force and Freedom: Kant's Legal and Political Philosophy. Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Christopher Morgan-Knapp (2015). Nonconsequentialist Precaution. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):785-797.
Aaron James (2012). Contractualism's (Not so) Slippery Slope. Legal Theory 18 (3):263-292.
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