Contractualism and aggregation

Ethics 108 (2):296-311 (1998)
I argue that T.M. Scanlon's contractualist account of morality has difficulty accommodating our intuitions about the moral relevance of the number of people affected by an action. I first consider the "Complaint Model" of reasonable rejection, which restricts the grounds for an individual's rejection of a principle to its effects upon herself. I argue that it can accommodate our intuitions about numbers only if we assume that, whenever we do not know who will be affected, each individual may appeal only to the _expected effects on her. This assumption, I suggest, leads to counterintuitive results in cases where, although we do not know who will be affected, we do know that _someone will be. I then consider two proposals to supplement the complaint model with a direct appeal to aggregation. I argue that both are open to serious objections
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DOI 10.1086/233806
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Nicholas Southwood (2009). Moral Contractualism. Philosophy Compass 4 (6):926-937.

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