A Defence of Weighted Lotteries in Life Saving Cases

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (3):279-290 (2009)

Authors
Ben Saunders
University of Southampton
Abstract
The three most common responses to Taurek’s ‘numbers problem’ are saving the greater number, equal chance lotteries and weighted lotteries. Weighted lotteries have perhaps received the least support, having been criticized by Scanlon What We Owe to Each Other ( 1998 ) and Hirose ‘Fairness in Life and Death Cases’ ( 2007 ). This article considers these objections in turn, and argues that they do not succeed in refuting the fairness of a weighted lottery, which remains a potential solution to cases of conflict. Moreover, it shows how these responses actually lead to a new argument for weighted lotteries, appealing to fairness and Pareto-optimality.
Keywords Philosophy   Ontology   Political Philosophy   Ethics
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-009-9157-7
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Equality and Priority.Derek Parfit - 1997 - Ratio 10 (3):202–221.
Should the Numbers Count?John Taurek - 1977 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (4):293-316.
Preference and Urgency.T. M. Scanlon - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (19):655-669.

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Citations of this work BETA

Fairness Between Competing Claims.Ben Saunders - 2010 - Res Publica 16 (1):41-55.
Spinning the Wheel or Tossing a Coin?Robert Huseby - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (2):127-139.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

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