Aggregation, Balancing, and Respect for the Claims of Individuals

Utilitas 33 (1):17-34 (2021)
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Most non-consequentialists “let the numbers count” when one can save either a lesser or greater number from equal or similar harm. But they are wary of doing so when one can save either a small number from grave harm or instead a very large number from minor harm. Limited aggregation is an approach that reconciles these two commitments. It is motivated by a powerful idea: our decision whom to save should respect each person who has a claim to our help, including those whom we fail to save. However, it has recently been argued that it is open to decisive objections. I develop a new limitedly aggregative view: Hybrid Balance Relevant Claims. This view is well grounded in the reasons we have to be skeptical of aggregation and resolves all recent challenges by paying careful attention to the rationale for limited aggregation.



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Bastian Steuwer
Ashoka University

Citations of this work

Partial Aggregation in Ethics.Joe Horton - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3):1-12.
Contractualism, Complaints, and Risk.Bastian Steuwer - 2021 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 19 (2).
Tie-Breaks and Two Types of Relevance.James Hart - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (2):1-20.

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References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
Should the Numbers Count?John M. Taurek - 1977 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (4):293-316.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1983 - Religious Studies 19 (1):96-99.

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