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Rethinking the GoodMoral Ideals and the Nature of Practical Reasoning$
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Larry S. Temkin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199759446

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199759446.001.0001

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A “New” Principle of Aggregation

A “New” Principle of Aggregation

(p.67) 3 A “New” Principle of Aggregation
Rethinking the Good

Larry S. Temkin

Oxford University Press

This chapter further explores problems about trade-offs by examining a “new” principle of aggregation: the Disperse Additional Burdens View—short for the more cumbersome Disperse Additional Burdens So as to Prevent Any Individual from Having to Bear a Substantial Additional Burden. This is called a “new” principle of aggregation because it is not typically distinguished, or discussed, as a distinct principle in the philosophical literature. Nevertheless, this principle reflects familiar modes of reasoning. In fact, it can be seen as a natural extension of Chapter 2's Second Standard View. This principle is plausible and one that plays an important role in the assessment of outcomes. However, worries arise when one considers iterated applications of the principle. The chapter aims to illuminate this principle and the worries it generates. It shows that we may have to either reject this principle or refuse to allow ourselves to be repeatedly guided by it. Some principles of aggregation are complete. For any two alternatives, they generate a comparative ranking of those alternatives. But a principle of aggregation may also be incomplete. It may rank some, but not all, alternatives in comparison with each other. The principle of aggregation the chapter explores is incomplete.

Keywords:   Disperse Additional Burdens, aggregation principle, trade-offs

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