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Doing and Allowing Harm$
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Fiona Woollard

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199683642

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199683642.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 September 2021

Saving Strangers

Saving Strangers

Duties to Prevent Harm

(p.144) 8 Saving Strangers
Doing and Allowing Harm

Fiona Woollard

Oxford University Press

This chapter defends the intuitions about cases analysed in Chapter 7. Morality must include a restricted requirement to aid. A criterion is needed to pick out a set of cases in which agents are required to make substantial sacrifices. In taking a criterion that appeals to features such as proximity, morality shapes itself around the agent’s point of view. This is morally appropriate. This provides a response to the second part of Peter Unger’s argument: his claim that our moral commonsense tells us that none of the features distinguishing the Pond case from the famine relief cases could be morally relevant. The chapter also shows that agents are required to make limited regular sacrifices in response to ongoing need, addressing the moral analogue of Robert Nozick’s right-libertarian position.

Keywords:   obligations to aid, Peter Singer, Peter Unger, Robert Nozick

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