Why the numbers should sometimes count

Philosophy and Public Affairs 17 (1):3-14 (1988)
John Taurek has argued that, where choices must be made between alternatives that affect different numbers of people, the numbers are not, by themselves, morally relevant. This is because we "must" take "losses-to" the persons into account (and these don't sum), but "must not" consider "losses-of" persons (because we must not treat persons like objects). I argue that the numbers are always ethically relevant, and that they may sometimes be the decisive consideration.
Keywords Number Ratio Result Social Phil  trolley problem  utilitarianism
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DOI 10.2307/2265283
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Ben Saunders (2009). A Defence of Weighted Lotteries in Life Saving Cases. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (3):279 - 290.
Fiona Woollard (2014). The New Problem of Numbers in Morality. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):631-641.

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