Duties of Rescue: a Moderate Account

Abstract

This dissertation clarifies a challenge present in Peter Singer's famine-relief argument and offers a new account of our moral duties of rescue. The challenge, in essence, is to differentiate two classes of idealized rescue scenarios where one faces the opportunity to rescue someone from serious peril, and to differentiate them in way that both avoids a shockingly demanding conclusion and effectively counteracts the suspicion that one is maintaining and merely rationalizing a self-serving position. To meet this challenge I provide an account whereby both the extent and the limits of our rescue duties are determined in ways that are plausibly continuous with moral and practical norms more generally

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Craig Nishimoto
Harvard University

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