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
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/40284292
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,914
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
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.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

70 ( #46,039 of 1,725,575 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #211,098 of 1,725,575 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.