Economics and Philosophy 35 (3):537-561 (2019)
AbstractWhen people must either save a greater number of people from a smaller harm or a smaller number from a greater harm, do their choices reflect a reasonable moral outlook? We pursue this question with the help of an experiment. In our experiment, two-fifths of subjects employ a similarity heuristic. When alternatives appear dissimilar in terms of the number saved but similar in terms of the magnitude of harm prevented, this heuristic mandates saving the greater number. In our experiment, this leads to choices that are inconsistent with all standard theories of justice. We argue that this demonstrates the untrustworthiness of distributive judgments in cases that elicit similarity-based choice.
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References found in this work
Rethinking the Good: Moral Ideals and the Nature of Practical Reasoning.Larry S. Temkin - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
Intricate Ethics: Rights, Responsibilities, and Permissible Harm.Frances Kamm - 2007 - New York ;Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work
The Normative Significance of Empirical Moral Psychology.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2020 - Diametros 17 (64):1-5.
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