Why the numbers should sometimes count

Philosophy and Public Affairs 17 (1):3-14 (1988)
Abstract
John Taurek has argued that, where choices must be made between alternatives that affect different numbers of people, the numbers are not, by themselves, morally relevant. This is because we "must" take "losses-to" the persons into account (and these don't sum), but "must not" consider "losses-of" persons (because we must not treat persons like objects). I argue that the numbers are always ethically relevant, and that they may sometimes be the decisive consideration.
Keywords Number Ratio Result Social Phil  trolley problem  utilitarianism
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Citations of this work BETA
Can Contractualism Save Us From Aggregation?Barbara H. Fried - 2012 - Journal of Ethics 16 (1):39-66.
Giving Each Person Her Due: Taurek Cases and Non-Comparative Justice.Alan Thomas - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):661-676.
The New Problem of Numbers in Morality.Fiona Woollard - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):631-641.
What Punishment for the Murder of 10,000?Michael Davis - 2010 - Res Publica 16 (2):101-118.

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