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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On the other hand, if the well-being of x and y are equal in comparison prior to any intervention by S, and the harm that S can prevent for x is serious but the harm that S can prevent for y is not serious, then S ought to aid x rather than y: Tairek one of tue people for the benefit of another, uses him and benefits the other.

Request removal from index. The Principle of Nonaggregation PN One’s duties to come to the aid of others are determined by the claims of individuals considered one by one rather than by any aggregation of the claims of individuals Otsukap. However, Taurek seems to explicitly deny that there are states of affairs that are bad simpliciter. In each case, some cost is borne for the sake of the greater overall good. Echoing Rawls’s discussion of this matter, Robert Nozick explains the problem of nhmbers a person undergo some sacrifice for some ‘overbalancing’ good: Second, if the well-being of x and y are equal in comparison prior to any intervention by S, and the harm that S can prevent for both is serious, then the claims of both x and y are not to be dismissed even if the harm that S can prevent for x is greater in comparison to the harm that S can prevent for y to a non-trivial degree: Exceptions are made only for posts about philosophers with substantive content, e.

Additionally, nothing that I will claim depends upon these notions being non-vague. Numbers, with and without contractualism.


This suggests that the Kamm-Scanlon Argument still involves covertly combining the claims of B and C. At a minimum, this includes: Moreover, for any two options available to Yoda, any difference in harm between those two options is such that that difference is significant: Oxford University Press,pp. Indeed, as noted earlier, Taurek does not say that one must toss a coin.

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. Aggregation and two moral methods.

Philosophy and Public Affairs Again, however, if A, B and C are all incommensurable, such a method of pairwise comparison could not be applicable, as the claims of A, B and C would simply be incommensurable. Moreover, Rob Lawlor explicitly defends the view suggested by Sanders.

I take Timmerman There is a tsunami and both islands will soon be immersed in water, killing whoever is on the island. Here is the way out I suggest for the Numbers Partly Count proponent. It might be argued that the Weighted Lottery Argument gives the individual in the lesser group too much weight.

I will call this a Taurek Scenario: Note that I am not arguing that nonconsequentialists are wrong to criticize aggregation from the perspective of the separateness of persons.

If so, they would in effect be embracing the Taurekean position that numbers do not count. See also Timmermann, “The Individualist Lottery,” op. No keywords specified fix it. Don’t Count on Taurek: Anthony Skelton – – Journal of Global Ethics 12 2: To give just one example, notice how easily one can transform this passage into an objection to substituting the equivalent good of one individual for another: However, if, as PAI says, all persons are incommensurable, then there seems to be no way of comparing A and B.

The claim that one ought to save the many instead of the few was made to rest on the claim that, other things being equal, it is a worse thing that these five persons should die than that this one should.

“Should the Numbers Count?” by John M. Taurek : philosophy

It might also be pointed out that the fact that the weighted lottery makes it more likely than not — perhaps even overwhelmingly likely — that the greater number will be saved is insufficient to establish that the Weighted Lottery Argument solves the Number Problem, given that the Number Problem is that of explaining why we should always save the greater number in these cases.


I think that Otsuka can establish this conclusion, but not by way of how he presents the argument. A number of writers have however argued that the Kamm-Scanlon Argument covertly involves combining claims. Preventing a harm for either individual would be at little to no cost to S.


In fact, someone who holds the view that persons are incommensurable may not even need to toss a coin. These terms are left to be interpreted in a roughly intuitive manner. For any harm that Shouldd can prevent for any of the four Jedi, that harm is serious. Preventing a harm for either group would be at little to no cost to S. So if the numbers count one should prefer i over ivand not vice versa.

This said, let me express some reservations regarding this interpretation of Taurek. If you have unrelated thoughts or don’t wish to read the content, please post your own thread or simply refrain from commenting.

John M. Taurek: Should the Numbers Count?

He does not get some substituted, equivalent good from his sacrifice, and no one is entitled to force this upon him. Belknap Press,pp. Sign in to use this feature. The Standard Picture solves the Number Problem because it holds a plausible account of the separateness of persons. Again, that there are five lives versus one is one consideration in this matter.