Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):631-641 (2014)

Fiona Woollard
University of Southampton
Discussion of the “problem of numbers” in morality has focused almost exclusively on the moral significance of numbers in whom-to-rescue cases: when you can save either of two groups of people, but not both, does the number of people in each group matter morally? I suggest that insufficient attention has been paid to the moral significance of numbers in other types of case. According to common-sense morality, numbers make a difference in cases, like the famous Trolley Case, where we must choose whether to kill a person (or persons) as a side effect of saving a greater number. I argue that recognition of the role of numbers in killing cases forces us to reassess purported solutions to the problem of numbers
Keywords Numbers  Number scepticism  Taurek  Kamm  Munoz-Dardé  Trolley Problem
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-014-9496-x
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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.
Should the Numbers Count?John Taurek - 1977 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (4):293-316.
Justifiability to Each Person.Derek Parfit - 2003 - Ratio 16 (4):368–390.

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