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date: 07 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Critics of utilitarianism and other forms of consequentialism often reject the aggregation of goods and bads across different individuals. This chapter critically examines their arguments against interpersonal aggregation. It begins by offering a clear definition of interpersonal aggregation and elucidating its theoretical structure. Then it argues against two types of objections to aggregation. The first is the argument from counterexamples and the other is the argument from the separateness of persons. The chapter then surveys the recent literature on the number problem, provoked by John Taurek’s seminal paper, to show skepticism about interpersonal aggregation implies counterintuitive conclusion. However, the chapter argues that there are two nonaggregative solutions to the problem.

Keywords: aggregation, utilitarianism, the separateness of persons, number problem, John Taurek

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