Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thom Brooks on "Saving the Greatest Number"

Thom Brooks, "Saving the Greatest Number," Logique et Analyse 45(177/178) (2002): 55-59. (subscription-only)


Imagine there are three boats equidistant from one another. You are alone in the first boat. The other two boats are sinking fast: one boat has one person (A), the other has two persons (B&C). There is only enough time to allow saving either A or B&C before their boats sink, drowning whoever is onboard. Will we always combine claims of those wishing to be saved and rescue B&C? Otsuka says that the 'Kamm-Scanlon' contractualist framework that does not aggregating various claims for rescue combines claims in this example. Otsuka has been criticized by Hirose and Kumar. Here I offer a defense.

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