Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):661-676 (2012)

Alan Thomas
University of York
Taurek cases focus a choice between two views of permissible action, Can Save One and Must Save Many . It is argued that Taurek cases do illustrate the rationale for Can Save One , but existing views do not highlight the fact that this is because they are examples of claims grounded on non-comparative justice. To act to save the many solely because they form a group is to discriminate against the one for an irrelevant reason. That is a canonical form of non-comparative injustice. The error lies in taking a contingency of some presentations of some Taurek cases, namely, that they involve distribution, to introduce the claims of comparative as opposed to non-comparative justice. But cases of non-comparative justice can, contingently, also involve distribution. In order to settle which form of justice applies it is necessary to examine the nature of the distribution involved and the nature of “classes” to which individuals can be assigned
Keywords Taurek  Numbers scepticism  Particularism
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-012-9358-3
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Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What is the Point of Equality?Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.

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