The Aid That Leaves Something to Chance

Ethics 124 (2):231-241 (2014)
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I argue that a crucial point has been overlooked in the debate over the “numbers problem.” The initial arrangement of parties in the problem can be thought of as chancy, and whatever considerations of fairness recommend the reliance on something like a coin toss in approaching this problem equally recommend treating the initial distribution as a kind of lottery. This fact, I suggest, undermines one of the principal arguments against saving the greater number

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Kenneth Walden
Dartmouth College


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