Utilitas 26 (4):385-408 (2014)

Authors
J. Paul Kelleher
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Abstract
Interpersonal aggregation involves the combining and weighing of benefits and losses to multiple individuals in the course of determining what ought to be done. Most consequentialists embrace thoroughgoing interpersonal aggregation, the view that any large benefit to each of a few people can be morally outweighed by allocating any smaller benefit to each of many others, so long as this second group is sufficiently large. This would permit letting one person die in order to cure some number of mild headaches instead. Most non-consequentialists reject thoroughgoing interpersonal aggregation despite also believing it is permissible to let one person die in order to prevent many cases of paraplegia instead. Non-consequentialists defend this asymmetry largely on the basis of intuition, and some rely on the notion of relevance to formalize the grounding intuitions. This article seeks to clarify and strengthen the non-consequentialist notion of relevance by engaging with three objections to it
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DOI 10.1017/s0953820814000144
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Should the Numbers Count?John Taurek - 1977 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (4):293-316.
Equality, Priority, and Compassion.Roger Crisp - 2003 - Ethics 113 (4):745-763.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1983 - Religious Studies 19 (1):96-99.
A Continuum Argument for Intransitivity.Larry S. Temkin - 1996 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 25 (3):175-210.

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Citations of this work BETA

Balancing Small Against Large Burdens.Alex Voorhoeve - 2018 - Behavioural Public Policy 2 (1):125-142.
Mixed Feelings About Mixed Solutions.Jan Gertken - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (1):59-69.

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