In Mark D. White (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Economics. Oxford University Press. pp. 446-473 (2019)
AbstractUtilitarianism, it has been said, is not sensitive to the distribution of welfare. In making risky decisions for others there are multiple sensitivities at work. I present examples of risky decision-making involving drug allocations, charitable giving, breast-cancer screening and C-sections. In each of these examples there is a different sensitivity at work that pulls away from the utilitarian prescription. Instances of saving fewer people at a greater risk to many is more complex because there are two distributional sensitivities at work that pull in opposite directions from the utilitarian calculus. I discuss objections to these sensitivities and conclude with some reflections on the value of formal modelling in thinking about societal risk.
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Citations of this work
Risk and the Unfairness of Some Being Better Off at the Expense of Others.Thomas Rowe - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 16 (1).
References found in this work
The Independence of Moral Theory.John Rawls - 1974 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 48:5 - 22.
Well-Being and Fair Distribution: Beyond Cost-Benefit Analysis.Matthew Adler - 2011 - Oxford University Press.