Correspondence - 2
Parfit (Derek) & Fried (Charles)
Source: Philosophy & Public Affairs, vol. 8, no. 4 (Summer, 1979), pp. 395-397
Paper - Abstract

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Fried’s Introduction

  1. There is a domain in which arguments of the sort advanced in "Taurek (John M.) - Should the Numbers Count?" are proof against the criticism offered by "Parfit (Derek) - Innumerate ethics".
  2. Parfit is willing to recognize that it is rational and moral to save my own arm-or the arm of my friend or family member-rather than the life of a stranger. Presumably Parfit also agrees that it is rational to choose a course of conduct which would mean saving my own life-or that of a friend or family member-rather than saving the lives of five strangers. What he disagrees with is the proposition that it could be moral to save the life of one person rather than the lives of five when all six are equally strangers to me and there are no other relevant distinctions between the two choices, such as the fact that saving the five is more costly or more hazardous.

Parfit’s Introduction

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