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The Mixed Solution to the Number Problem
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Moral Philosophy, ISSN 1740-4681, E-ISSN 1745-5243, Vol. 6, no 2, 166-177 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

You must either save a group of m people or a group of n people. If there are no morally relevant differences among the people, which group should you save? This problem is known as the number problem. The recent discussion has focussed on three proposals: (i) Save the greatest number of people, (ii) Toss a fair coin, or (iii) Set up a weighted lottery, in which the probability of saving m people is m/m + n, and the probability of saving n people is n/m + n. This contribution examines a fourth alternative, the mixed solution, according to which both fairness and the total number of people saved count. It is shown that the mixed solution can be defended without assuming the possibility of interpersonal comparisons of value.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 6, no 2, 166-177 p.
Keyword [en]
aggregation, consequentialism, fairness, number problem
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-46951DOI: 10.1163/174552409X402331ISI: 000207935200002OAI: diva2:454482
QC 20111107Available from: 2011-11-07 Created: 2011-11-07 Last updated: 2012-03-21Bibliographically approved

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