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AbstractHave you a duty to save the greater rather than the lesser number from death when you cannot save all? Most moral philosophers would reply that you do, at least when so doing is of little cost to you and “all other things are equal,” which is to say that death is equally bad for each, and none of the imperiled is family or friend as opposed to a stranger, and so forth. It is, however, surprisingly difficult to provide sound theoretical support for such a seemingly uncontroversial duty. These difficulties highlight some contrasting problems for competing contractualist and consequentialist accounts of morality.
Otsuka, Michael (2006) Saving lives, moral theory, and the claims of individuals. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 34 (2). pp. 109-135. ISSN 0048-3915