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Still Lives for Headaches: A reply to Dorsey and Voorhoeve


There is no large number of very small bads that is worse than a small number of very large bads – or so, some maintain, it seems plausible to say. In this article, I criticize and reject two recently proposed vindications of the above intuition put forth by Dale Dorsey and Alex Voorhoeve. Dorsey advocates for a threshold marked by the interference with a person's global life projects: any bad that interferes with the satisfaction of a life project is worse than any number of bads that don't interfere with such a life project. Such thresholds, I argue, are broadly implausible. Voorhoeve gives a contractualist account for the irrelevance of minor bads. His account, I argue, does not, among other things, provide the right kind of reason in defence of the above intuition.

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  • ISSN: 0953-8208
  • EISSN: 1741-6183
  • URL: /core/journals/utilitas
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