Ideal Procedure, Nonideal Alternatives, and Proportional Chances

F. M. Kamm

in Morality, Mortality Volume I: Death and Whom to Save From It

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780195119114
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199872244 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ethics Series

 Ideal Procedure, Nonideal Alternatives, and Proportional Chances

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Examines two alternatives to the ‘majority rule’ situation described in the Ch. 7, i.e. that numbers count in any consideration of saving lives. It looks at two procedures that, other than straightforwardly saving the greater number of lives, still consider the number of people that can be saved. The first is what the author calls the ‘Ideal Procedure’ for non‐Taurek situations, in which some compromise between conflicting groups is possible; this can only be used when there is some chance of saving everyone. The other procedure is an alternative way to give numbers weight: distribution by proportional chances. Finally, the difference that present vs future need may make is considered.

Keywords: chance of saving everyone; compromise between conflicting groups; Ideal Procedure; majority rule; maximizing lives saved; present vs future need; proportional chances; saving lives; weighting numbers

Chapter.  12157 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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