Always Aggregate

Philosophy and Public Affairs 46 (2):160-174 (2018)
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Abstract

Is there any number of people you should save from paralysis rather than saving one person from death? Is there any number of people you should save from a headache rather than saving one person from death? Many people answer ‘yes’ and ‘no’, respectively. They therefore accept a partially aggregative moral view. Patrick Tomlin has recently argued that the most promising partially aggregative views in the literature have implausible implications in certain cases in which there are additions or subtractions to the groups of people that we can save. Several philosophers have begun responding to this argument by developing partially aggregative views that avoid the relevant implications. In this paper, I extend Tomlin’s argument to create a dilemma that no partially aggregative view can avoid. I conclude that we should accept a fully aggregative moral view.

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Joe Horton
University College London

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