“Heaps v. Headaches and Human Lives” Abstract: Alastair Norcross has argued for a principle of aggregation of harms. On his view, relatively minor harms to a number of individuals 'add up' and can in principle outweigh much greater individual harms. So, for instance, there is some finite number n of mild headaches such that n mild headaches would be worse than one person being tortured to death. I will present Norcross’s argument and defend it from the objection that it is merely an instance of the sorites paradox. In so doing, I offer a kind of response to a potentially broad range of attempts assimilate arguments to the sorites paradox.
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Paper: Aggregation of Harms, Sorites Paradox
I wrote another paper today... not for a class or anything... this arose out of an argument with one of my professors, and I thought the most convincing way to make my point was to put it on paper. If you're interested in reading, download it here. Comments appreciated, of course.