Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (2):149 - 166 (2006)
In his paper, “Should the Numbers Count?" John Taurek imagines that we are in a position such that we can either save a group of five people, or we can save one individual, David. We cannot save David and the five. This is because they each require a life-saving drug. However, David needs all of the drug if he is to survive, while the other five need only a fifth each.Typically, people have argued as if there was a choice to be made: either numbers matter, in which case we should save the greater number, or numbers don't matter, but rather there is moral value in giving each person an equal chance of survival, and therefore we should toss a coin. My claim is that we do not have to make a choice in this way. Rather, numbers do matter, but it doesn't follow that we should always save the greater number. And likewise, there is moral value in giving each person an equal chance of survival, but it doesn't follow that we should always toss a coin.
|Keywords||aggregation numbers probabilities saving lives Taurek weighing goods|
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Citations of this work BETA
Giving Each Person Her Due: Taurek Cases and Non-Comparative Justice.Alan Thomas - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):661-676.
Don’T Count on Taurek: Vindicating the Case for the Numbers Counting.Yishai Cohen - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (3):245-261.
The New Problem of Numbers in Morality.Fiona Woollard - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):631-641.
Numbers Scepticism, Equal Chances and Pluralism.Gerald Lang & Rob Lawlor - 2016 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 15 (3):298-315.
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