Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 7 (2):1-19 (2013)
AbstractIt is plausible to think that it is wrong to cure many people’s headaches rather than save someone else’s life. On the other hand, it is plausible to think that it is not wrong to expose someone to a tiny risk of death when curing this person’s headache. I will argue that these claims are inconsistent. For if we keep taking this tiny risk then it is likely that one person dies, while many others’ headaches are cured. In light of this inconsistency, there is a conflict in our intuitions about beneficence and chance. This conflict is perplexing. And I have not been able to find a satisfactory way of resolving it. Perhaps you can do better?
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Citations of this work
In dubious battle: uncertainty and the ethics of killing.Seth Lazar - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (4):859-883.
Contractualism, Complaints, and Risk.Bastian Steuwer - 2021 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 19 (2).
Other People.Kieran Setiya - forthcoming - In Sarah Buss & Nandi Theunissen (eds.), Rethinking the Value of Humanity.
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Contractualism and risk imposition.James Lenman - 2008 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (1):99-122.
Goodness and Utilitarianism.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1994 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 67 (4):5 - 21.
Goodness and Utilitarianism.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1993 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 67 (2):145-159.