A defence of weighted lotteries in life saving cases

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (3):279 - 290 (2009)
The three most common responses to Taurek’s ‘numbers problem’ are saving the greater number, equal chance lotteries and weighted lotteries. Weighted lotteries have perhaps received the least support, having been criticized by Scanlon What We Owe to Each Other ( 1998 ) and Hirose ‘Fairness in Life and Death Cases’ ( 2007 ). This article considers these objections in turn, and argues that they do not succeed in refuting the fairness of a weighted lottery, which remains a potential solution to cases of conflict. Moreover, it shows how these responses actually lead to a new argument for weighted lotteries, appealing to fairness and Pareto-optimality.
Keywords Aggregation  Fairness  Lotteries  Scanlon  Taurek  Weighted lotteries
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
John M. Taurek (1977). Should the Numbers Count? Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (4):293-316.
T. M. Scanlon (1975). Preference and Urgency. Journal of Philosophy 72 (19):655-669.

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