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Who Is Afraid of Numbers?

  • S. MATTHEW LIAO (a1)

In recent years, many non-consequentialists such as Frances Kamm and Thomas Scanlon have been puzzling over what has come to be known as the Number Problem, which is how to show that the greater number in a rescue situation should be saved without aggregating the claims of the many, a typical kind of consequentialist move that seems to violate the separateness of persons. In this article, I argue that these non-consequentialists may be making the task more difficult than necessary, because allowing aggregation does not prevent one from being a non-consequentialist. I shall explain how a non-consequentialist can still respect the separateness of persons while allowing for aggregation.

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D. Wasserman , and A. Strudler , ‘Can a Nonconsequentialist Count Lives?’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 31.1 (2003), pp. 7194

J. Timmermann , ‘The Individualist Lottery: How People Count, but Not Their Numbers’, Analysis 64.2 (2004), pp. 106–12

M. Otsuka , ‘Scanlon and the Claims of the Many versus the One’, Analysis 60 (2000), pp. 288–93

I. Hirose , ‘Saving the Greater Number without Combining Claims’, Analysis 61 (2001), pp. 341–42

J. Broome , ‘Selecting People Randomly’, Ethics 95 (1984), pp. 3855

G. Lang , ‘Fairness in Life and Death Cases’, Erkenntnis 62 (2005), pp. 321–51

R. Kumar , ‘Contractualism on Saving the Many’, Analysis 61 (2001), pp. 165–70

F. Kamm , ‘Precis of Morality, Mortality? Vol. I: Death and Whom to Save from It’, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (1998), pp. 940–1

K. Meyer , ‘How to be Consistent without Saving the Greater Number’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 34.2 (2006), pp. 136–46

D. Parfit , ‘Justifiability to Each Person’, Ratio 16 (2003), pp. 368–90

T. M. Scanlon , ‘Replies’, Ratio 16 (2003), pp. 424–39

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