Utilitas

Research Article

Who Is Afraid of Numbers?

S. MATTHEW LIAOa1

a1 University of Oxford matthew.liao@philosophy.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

In recent years, many non-consequentialists such as Frances Kamm and Thomas Scanlon have been puzzling over what has come to be known as the Number Problem, which is how to show that the greater number in a rescue situation should be saved without aggregating the claims of the many, a typical kind of consequentialist move that seems to violate the separateness of persons. In this article, I argue that these non-consequentialists may be making the task more difficult than necessary, because allowing aggregation does not prevent one from being a non-consequentialist. I shall explain how a non-consequentialist can still respect the separateness of persons while allowing for aggregation.