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  1. Restricted Prioritarianism or Competing Claims?Benjamin Lange - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (2):137-152.
    I here settle a recent dispute between two rival theories in distributive ethics: Restricted Prioritarianism and the Competing Claims View. Both views mandate that the distribution of benefits and burdens between individuals should be justifiable to each affected party in a way that depends on the strength of each individual’s separately assessed claim to receive a benefit. However, they disagree about what elements constitute the strength of those individuals’ claims. According to restricted prioritarianism, the strength of a claim is determined (...)
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  • Tolerance and the Distributed Sorites.Zach Barnett - 2019 - Synthese 196 (3):1071-1077.
    On some accounts of vagueness, predicates like “is a heap” are tolerant. That is, their correct application tolerates sufficiently small changes in the objects to which they are applied. Of course, such views face the sorites paradox, and various solutions have been proposed. One proposed solution involves banning repeated appeals to tolerance, while affirming tolerance in any individual case. In effect, this solution rejects the reasoning of the sorites argument. This paper discusses a thorny problem afflicting this approach to vagueness. (...)
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  • Axiological Absolutism and Risk1.Seth Lazar & Chad Lee‐Stronach - 2017 - Noûs 53 (1):97-113.
    Consider the following claim: given the choice between saving a life and preventing any number of people from temporarily experiencing a mild headache, you should always save the life. Many moral theorists accept this claim. In doing so, they commit themselves to some form of ‘moral absolutism’: the view that there are some moral considerations that cannot be outweighed by any number of lesser moral considerations. In contexts of certainty, it is clear what moral absolutism requires of you. However, what (...)
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  • Why Sore Throats Don't Aggregate Against a Life, but Arms Do.Alex Voorhoeve - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (6):492-493.
    When do claims to be saved of a small or moderate harm aggregate against a competing claim to be saved from an early death? In this short response to Kamm's Bioethical Prescriptions, I argue for the following answer: aggregation of weaker claims against a life is permitted just in case, in a one-to-one contest, a person with a weaker claim would have a personal prerogative to prioritize her claim over a stranger’s competing claim to life.
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  • Why One Should Count Only Claims with Which One Can Sympathize.Alex Voorhoeve - 2017 - Public Health Ethics 10 (2):148-156.
    When one faces competing claims of varying strength on public resources for health, which claims count? This paper proposes the following answer. One should count, or aggregate, a person’s claim just in case one could sympathize with her desire to prioritize her own claim over the strongest competing claim. It argues that this principle yields appealing case judgments and has a plausible grounding in both sympathetic identification with each person, taken separately, and respect for the person for whom most is (...)
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  • Is Consistency Overrated?S. Andrew Schroeder - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (3):199-200.
    In their insightful article, ‘The Disvalue of Death in the Global Burden of Disease’, Solberg et al argue that there is a potential incoherence in the way disability-adjusted life years are calculated. Morbidity is measured in years lived with disability in a way quite unlike the way mortality is measured in years of life lost. This potentially renders them incommensurable, like apples and oranges, and makes their aggregate—DALYs—conceptually unsound. The authors say that it is ‘vital’ to address this problem, that (...)
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  • No Free Lunch: The Significance of Tiny Contributions.Zach Barnett - 2018 - Analysis 78 (1):3-13.
    There is a well-known moral quandary concerning how to account for the rightness or wrongness of acts that clearly contribute to some morally significant outcome – but which each seem too small, individually, to make any meaningful difference. One consequentialist-friendly response to this problem is to deny that there could ever be a case of this type. This paper pursues this general strategy, but in an unusual way. Existing arguments for the consequentialist-friendly position are sorites-style arguments. Such arguments imagine varying (...)
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  • Aggregate Relevant Claims in Rescue Cases?Johanna Privitera - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (2):228-236.
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  • Mixed Feelings About Mixed Solutions.Jan Gertken - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (1):59-69.
    The numbers problem concerns the question of what is the right thing to do in trade-off cases where one can save different non-overlapping groups of persons, but not everyone. Proponents of mixed solutions argue that both saving the many and holding a lottery to determine whom to save can each be morally right in such cases, depending on the relative sizes of the groups involved. In his book The Dimensions of Consequentialism, Martin Peterson presents an ingenious version of such an (...)
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  • Principles of Need and the Aggregation Thesis.Erik Gustavsson & Niklas Juth - forthcoming - Health Care Analysis:1-16.
    Principles of need are constantly referred to in health care priority setting. The common denominator for any principle of need is that it will ascribe some kind of special normative weight to people being worse off. However, this common ground does not answer the question how a plausible principle of need should relate to the aggregation of benefits across individuals. Principles of need are sometimes stated as being incompatible with aggregation and sometimes characterized as accepting aggregation in much the same (...)
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  • If You’Re a Rawlsian, How Come You’Re So Close to Utilitarianism and Intuitionism? A Critique of Daniels’s Accountability for Reasonableness.Gabriele Badano - 2018 - Health Care Analysis 26 (1):1-16.
    Norman Daniels’s theory of ‘accountability for reasonableness’ is an influential conception of fairness in healthcare resource allocation. Although it is widely thought that this theory provides a consistent extension of John Rawls’s general conception of justice, this paper shows that accountability for reasonableness has important points of contact with both utilitarianism and intuitionism, the main targets of Rawls’s argument. My aim is to demonstrate that its overlap with utilitarianism and intuitionism leaves accountability for reasonableness open to damaging critiques. The important (...)
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  • Disease Prevalence and the Magnitude of Research Benefits.Leah Pierson & Joseph Millum - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics 18 (4):73-74.
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  • Autonomous Driving and Perverse Incentives.Wulf Loh & Catrin Misselhorn - forthcoming - Philosophy and Technology:1-16.
    This paper discusses the ethical implications of perverse incentives with regard to autonomous driving. We define perverse incentives as a feature of an action, technology, or social policy that invites behavior which negates the primary goal of the actors initiating the action, introducing a certain technology, or implementing a social policy. As a special form of means-end-irrationality, perverse incentives are to be avoided from a prudential standpoint, as they prove to be directly self-defeating: They are not just a form of (...)
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  • Still Lives for Headaches: A Reply to Dorsey and Voorhoeve.Julius Schönherr - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (2):209-218.
    There is no large number of very small bads that is worse than a small number of very large bads – or so, some maintain, it seems plausible to say. In this article, I criticize and reject two recently proposed vindications of the above intuition put forth by Dale Dorsey and Alex Voorhoeve. Dorsey advocates for a threshold marked by the interference with a person's global life projects: any bad that interferes with the satisfaction of a life project is worse (...)
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  • Prioritarianism: Room for Desert?Matthew D. Adler - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (2):172-197.