David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Utilitas 17 (1):1-23 (2005)
I begin by reconsidering the arguments of John Taurek and Elizabeth Anscombe on whether the number of people we can help counts morally. I then consider arguments that numbers should count given by F. M. Kamm and Thomas Scanlon, and criticism of them by Michael Otsuka. I examine how different conceptions of the moral method known as pairwise comparison are at work in these different arguments and what the ideas of balancing and tie-breaking signify for decision-making in various types of cases. I conclude by considering how another moral method that I call virtual divisibility functions and what it helps reveal about an argument by Otsuka against those who do not think numbers count.
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Citations of this work BETA
Michael Otsuka (2006). Saving Lives, Moral Theory, and the Claims of Individuals. Philosophy and Public Affairs 34 (2):109–135.
Weyma Lübbe (2008). Taurek's No Worse Claim. Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (1):69–85.
Yishai Cohen (2014). Don’T Count on Taurek: Vindicating the Case for the Numbers Counting. Res Publica 20 (3):245-261.
Fiona Woollard (2014). The New Problem of Numbers in Morality. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):631-641.
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