Utilitas 25 (2):161-181 (2013)

Mathieu Doucet
University of Waterloo
In this article I criticize the non-consequentialist Weighted Lottery (WL) solution to the choice between saving a smaller or a larger group of people. WL aims to avoid what non-consequentialists see as consequentialism's unfair aggregation by giving equal consideration to each individual's claim to be rescued. In so doing, I argue, WL runs into another common objection to consequentialism: it is excessively demanding. WL links the right action with the outcome of a fairly weighted lottery, which means that an agent can only act rightly if s/he has actually run the lottery. In many actual cases, this involves epistemic demands that can be almost impossible to meet. I argue that plausible moral principles cannot make such extreme epistemic demands
Keywords moral demandingness  Number Problem  weighted lottery  non-consequentialism
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DOI 10.1017/s0953820812000374
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References found in this work BETA

Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Alienation, Consequentialism, and the Demands of Morality.Peter Railton - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (2):134-171.
Should the Numbers Count?John Taurek - 1977 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (4):293-316.
Consequentialism and Cluelessness.James Lenman - 2000 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 29 (4):342-370.

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