Mass Nouns, Count Nouns and Non-Count Laycock – – In Alex Barber (ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Elsevier. A crucial part of Taurek’s argument is his contention that i. John M. Taurek, ” Should the Numbers Count?” Philosophy & Public Affairs 6, no. 4. (Summer I ). Oxford University Press USA publishes scholarly works in all academic disciplines, bibles, music, children’s books, business books, dictionaries, reference.

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Unlike much of the dialectic between Taurek and his opponents, we will see that this argument is dialectically effective insofar as it does not employ premises that Taurek explicitly rejects. Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 4: For example, it has been said that aggregation could lead to a large number of small harms adding up to outweigh a smaller number of large harms, or to the repugnant conclusion. No keywords specified fix it. What We Owe to Each Other. If this is too strong, one could state it in a discontinuity form, which would say that if some benefits, A, are too trivial when compared to others benefits, B, then enough of B should outweigh any amount of A.

Argue your Position Opinions are not valuable here, arguments are! I will thus switch between these two notions accordingly.

Finally, I draw upon the redeemable 4 In support of a notion of the separateness of persons, see Nagelp. Social and Political Philosophy. Philosophy and Public Affairs 7: She may simply choose to save someone. Why not, similarly, hold that some persons have to bear some costs that benefit other persons more, for the sake of the overall social good?

Hence, numbers play a role in the Standard Picture only as one input among many in the deliberative process of a moral agent.

Kamm – – Utilitas 17 1: Belknap Press,pp.

There are broadly three positions one might hold regarding what S ought to do in a Taurek Scenario. In fact, though not often noted, pro-number nonconsequentialists do have a different view of the separateness of persons.



Call this the Broken Finger Objection. According to some of its advocates, the weighted lottery then solves the Number Problem if one accepts that if and when B is selected, then having reached B, one should also save C.

So, there is no good reason to think that there cannot be scenarios in which one harm is greater than another by a significant degree, and yet both harms are serious in absolute terms.

The harm that S can prevent for x is serious. Users may submit only one post per day. Otsuka argues against Numbers Skepticism by arguing against PN. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

There are four persons that are afflicted by a disease that has paralyzed all of their limbs, and they would all benefit from these pills. I shall explain how a nonconsequentialist can still respect the separateness of persons while allowing for aggregation.

Additionally, nothing that I will claim depends upon these notions being non-vague. It might be argued that the Weighted Lottery Argument gives the individual in the lesser group too much weight. The chosen Jedi receives one pill. Rather, I am claiming that from this perspective, it is hard to see why substitution and the like would be permitted, but not aggregation.

The Standard Picture solves the Number Problem because it holds a plausible account of the separateness of persons. Suppose there are one million people on one side and one individual on the other. More specifically, I think that a reason for adopting Numbers Partly Count can similarly favor a different principle that suggests a similar procedure for choosing what to do in certain non-Taurek Scenarios, such as Star Wars. If S does nothing, then neither x nor y will be spared from harm.

As I shall shortly argue though, from the perspective of the view that persons are incommensurable, the method of Pairwise Comparison is itself also problematic.


Links behind paywalls or registration walls are not allowed. For, when one tosses a coin as Taurek suggests, one need not thereby taurem that persons are commensurable and can be substituted or balanced or be given some proportional chance.

The Morality of Freedom. Aggregation and two moral methods. He does not get some overbalancing good from his sacrifice, and no one is entitled to force this upon him. It is worth noting that this point further applies to those who might seek to use the method of Pairwise Comparison to defend the opposite claim, that is, the Taurekean claim that numbers do not matter.

In particular, why could someone not say that the point at which one should spare C his loss is precisely when C is in a larger group sbould B, nuumbers that even if the choice were Bs he too should prefer that C be spare his loss, that is, the greater number should be saved?

Since it seems to be a matter of indifference, in terms of losses to persons, whether one saves the group or saves the individual [in a Taurek Scenario], one should look to other reasons for making one decision rather than another.

John M. Taurek, Should the numbers count? – PhilPapers

If the linked material requires signing up to view, even if the account is free, it is not allowed. Given this, nonconsequentialist may not have to shy away from aggregation when numbers are the only relevant factor at issue.

In that case, accommodating this alleged fact could similarly be done by giving all four Jedi a chance of being aided.

Vindicating the Case for the Numbers Counting. So PN and thus Numbers Skepticism ought to be rejected.