Logo Grin

Wlodek Rabinowicz (Lund University)

Quand :
22 septembre 2023 @ 10:00 – 12:00
Où :
Salle/Room Leacock 927, McGill University
855 Sherbrooke St W.

Goodness and Numbers

Conférence par/Conference by Wlodek Rabinowicz (Lund University)

*La conférence sera aussi présentée sur Zoom. /The conference will also be presented on Zoom.

Meeting ID: 266 439 5811
Passcode: 454185


You can save either David or Peter and Mary. Is there a compelling reason to save more people rather than fewer? Taurek (1977) (in)famously denied it. One might attempt to establish that is better if more people survive. This would settle the issue for consequentialists, but even non-consequentialists might find it relevant to the question at hand. The standard worry, however, is that such an axiological claim can only be established by aggregating gains and losses of different persons. As opposed to intrapersonal aggregation, interpersonal aggregation might seem illegitimate.  Frances Kamm’s Aggregation Argument is meant to overcome this difficulty.  I consider how her argument is dealt with by Iwao Hirose and Weyma Lübbe, and what is wrong with it from Taurek’s own perspective. But then I suggest that this perspective is untenable: while Taurek correctly analyses the concept of ‘better’ in terms of fitting attitudes, he accounts for fittingness in terms of the wrong kind of reasons. Still, even so, the Aggregation Argument fails, but a closely related argument may well be acceptable. That argument takes into consideration that different persons’ lives, unless  they dramatically differ, typically are incommensurable in value – on par, rather than equally good.