Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Apparent Vagueness and Graded Harms

In Consequentialism and Individual Impact, I briefly surveyed how I think consequentialists should respond to cases of collective harms where each individual contribution allegedly makes "no difference". (In short, I think such cases are inevitably misdescribed: either many of the contributions each make very small differences, or else a few contributions trigger large changes, which is much the same as far as expected utility is concerned.)  Julia Nefsky's 'Consequentialism and the Problem of Collective Harm' does a nice job of further advancing these problem cases, so I want to say a little more in consequentialism's defense here, and invite further thoughts from readers of this blog.