I begin by reconsidering the arguments of John Taurek and Elizabeth Anscombe on whether the number of people we can help counts morally. I then consider arguments that numbers should count given by F. M. Kamm and Thomas Scanlon, and criticism of them by Michael Otsuka. I examine how different conceptions of the moral method known as pairwise comparison are at work in these different arguments and what the ideas of balancing and tie-breaking signify for decision-making in various types of cases. I conclude by considering how another moral method that I call virtual divisibility functions and what it helps reveal about an argument by Otsuka against those who do not think numbers count.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science