Limited Aggregation and Risk

Philosophy and Public Affairs 46 (2):117-159 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Many of us believe (1) Saving a life is more important than averting any number of headaches. But what about risky cases? Surely: (2) In a single choice, if the risk of death is low enough, and the number of headaches at stake high enough, one should avert the headaches rather than avert the risk of death. And yet, if we will face enough iterations of cases like that in (2), in the long run some of those small risks of serious harms will surely eventuate. And yet: (3) Isn't it still permissible for us to run these repeated risks, despite that knowledge? After all, if it were not, then many of the risky activities that we standardly think permissible would in fact be impermissible. Nobody has yet offered a principle that can accommodate all of 1-3. In this paper, I show that we can accommodate all of these judgements, by taking into account both ex ante and ex post perspectives. In doing so, I clear aside an important obstacle to a viable deontological decision theory.

Similar books and articles

Can Contractualism Save Us from Aggregation.Barbara H. Fried - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (1):39-66.
Arrow's theorem in judgment aggregation.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2007 - Social Choice and Welfare 29 (1):19-33.
Aggregation and Numbers.Iawo Hirose - 2004 - Utilitas 16 (1):62-79.
Aggregation and numbers.Iwao Hirose - 2004 - Utilitas 16 (1):62-79.
In defence of single-premise closure.Weng Tang - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (8):1887-1900.
A generalised model of judgment aggregation.Franz Dietrich - 2007 - Social Choice and Welfare 4 (28):529-565.
On Limited Aggregation.Patrick Tomlin - 2017 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 45 (3):232-260.
Aggregating Causal Judgments.Richard Bradley, Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):491-515.
Judgement aggregation in non-classical logics.Daniele Porello - 2017 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 27 (1-2):106-139.

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-06-18

Downloads
749 (#11,440)

6 months
128 (#5,681)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Seth Lazar
Australian National University

Citations of this work

Duty and Doubt.Seth Lazar - 2020 - Journal of Practical Ethics 8 (1):28-55.
Partial aggregation in ethics.Joe Horton - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3):1-12.
One-by-one: moral theory for separate persons.Bastian Steuwer - 2020 - Dissertation, London School of Economics

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Contractualism and Social Risk.Johann Frick - 2015 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 43 (3):175-223.
Comparing Harms: Headaches and Human Lives.Alastair Norcross - 1997 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 26 (2):135-167.

View all 17 references / Add more references