David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (2):207–233 (2005)
In this paper, I concentrate on two themes: to what extent numbers bear on an agent's duties, and how numbers should relate to social policy. In the first half of the paper I consider the abstract case of a choice between saving two people and saving one, and my focus is on the contrast between a duty to act and a reason which merely makes an action intelligible. In the second half, I turn to the issue of social policy and investigate how if at all numbers can have a bearing there, if there is no obvious duty on individuals to save the greater number. My proposal is that it is not the bare numbers themselves (or even the ratio of claimants on either side of the dilemma) which explain our intuitions in such cases, but rather considerations of the extent to which each of us can make a reasonable claim on others. In short, I argue: numbers don't count, people do
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Citations of this work BETA
Tyler Doggett (2013). Saving the Few. Noûs 47 (2):302-315.
Alan Thomas (2012). Giving Each Person Her Due: Taurek Cases and Non-Comparative Justice. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):661-676.
Niko Kolodny (2009). Comment on Munoz-Dardé's'liberty's Chains'. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):197-212.
Fiona Woollard (2014). The New Problem of Numbers in Morality. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):631-641.
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