Limited Aggregation’s Non-Fatal Non-Dilemma

Australasian Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Limited aggregationists argue that when deciding between competing claims to aid we are sometimes required and sometimes forbidden from aggregating weaker claims to outweigh stronger claims. Joe Horton presents a ‘fatal dilemma’ for these views. Views that land on the First Horn of his dilemma suggest that a previously losing group strengthened by fewer and weaker claims can be more choice-worthy than the previously winning group strengthened by more and stronger claims. Views that land on the Second Horn suggest that combining two losing groups together and two winning groups together can turn the losing groups into the winning groups and the winning groups into the losing groups. This paper demonstrates that the ‘fatal dilemma’ is neither fatal nor a dilemma. The First Horn is devastating but avoidable and the Second Horn is unavoidable but not devastating. Nevertheless, Horton’s argument does help to narrow down the acceptable range of views.

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James Hart
University of Oxford


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