Moral Aggregation

ISBN : 9780199933686

Iwao Hirose
248 ページ
153 x 215 mm

Some ethical theories tolerate or require aggregation - a trade-off between benefits to a group of individuals and losses to another group of individuals. Since aggregation is an essential feature of utilitarianism, many critics of utilitarianism - including John Rawls, Thomas Nagel, T. M. Scanlon, and others - rule out aggregation from their proposed theories. However, critics encounter what has become known as the number problem-the problem that non-aggregative theories are insensitive to the number of people affected by actions even in the cases where the number of people is clearly relevant to what we ought to do. In this book, Iwao Hirose elucidates the theoretical nature of interpersonal and intra-personal aggregation and defends a form of aggregation, formal aggregation, as distinguished from substantive aggregation in utilitarianism. Substantive aggregation combines the morally relevant factors that are determined prior to, and independently of, aggregative process, and identifies the goal to be pursued. In contrast, formal aggregation represents the overall ethical judgment in terms of individuals' morally relevant factors and gives a structure to our ethical thinking. Hirose's view of formal aggregation is broader than substantive aggregation and avoids problems for utilitarianism. Furthermore, formal aggregation can satisfy the demands of critics of the conventional understanding of aggregation, thus being more attractive than substantive aggregation and the unqualified rejection of aggregation. Hirose's analysis thus elucidates the far-reaching scope of aggregation and offers a new insight to one of the fundamental elements in ethical theory.


I. A Theory of Aggregation
1 Why Aggregation?
1.1 Aggregation in ethics
1.2 Example I: QALY aggregation
1.3 Example II: Taurek's Rescue Case Rescue Case
1.4 The structure of this book
2 The Structure of Aggregation
2.1 Aggregation defined
2.2 What is aggregative and what is not?
2.3 The structure of interpersonal aggregation
2.3.1 Interpersonal comparability
2.3.2 Impartiality
2.3.3 Pareto
2.3.4 Continuity
3 Formal and Substantive Aggregation
3.1 Counterexample to interpersonal aggregation: the World Cup Case
3.2 Hidden assumptions
3.3 Substantive and formal aggregation aggregation
3.4 Formal aggregation in perspective
4 Aggregation and the Separateness of Persons
4.1 The separateness of persons: Rawls's strict account
4.2 The wider account
4.3 Defusing the wider account
4.4 The separateness objection and contractarianism
4.5 Scanlon's contractualism
5 Intra-Personal Aggregation
5.1 Who supports intra-personal aggregation?
5.2 The structure of intra-personal aggregation
5.3 The objection to intra-personal continuity
5.4 The objection to temporal symmetry
II The Number Problem
6 Taurek's argument for the coin-toss
6.1 Taurek and the Rescue Case
6.2 Taurek (1): the permissibility claim
6.3 Taurek (2): the no-worse claim
6.4 Taurek (3): the equal respect claim
6.5 Two remarks on Taurek's argument Taurek's argument
6.6 Critics of aggregation (1): Nozick
6.7 Critics of aggregation (2): Rawls
6.8 Critics of aggregation (3): Nagel
6.9 Three solutions and many intuitions
7 Four Responses:
Kavka, Kamm, Scanlon, and Schelling
7.1 How to deal with Taurek's claim?
7.2 Kavka on Taurek
7.3 The Kamm-Scanlon argument Kamm-Scanlon argument
7.4 Kamm's Argument for Best Outcomes
7.5 Schelling's probabilistic argument
8 Irrelevant Utilities and Formal Aggregation
8.1 The principle of irrelevant utilities
8.2 The objection to the principle of irrelevant utilities
8.3 Taking unfairness seriously
8.4 The Large Scale Rescue Case revisited
8.5 The force of aggregation
9 Weighted Lotteries
9.1 The third proposal: weighted lotteries
9.2 The appeal of weighted lotteries
9.3 The procedure of proportional chances: two criticisms criticisms
9.4 The general weighted lotteries: two-step criticism
9.5 An additional problem


Iwao Hirose is Associate Professor at the Philosophy Department and the School of Environment, McGill University. He is the author of Egalitarianism (2014), co-author of The Ethics of Health Care Rationing (with Greg Bognar, 2014), and co-editor of Weighing and Reasoning (with Andrew Reisner; forthcoming from OUP) and The Oxford Handbook of Value Theory (with Jonas Olson; forthcoming from OUP).