Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 189–204

How Much for the Child?



In this paper we explore what sacrifices you are morally required to make to save a child who is about to die in front of you. It has been argued that you would have very demanding duties to save such a child (or any adult who is in similar circumstance through no fault of their own, for that matter), and some examples have been presented to make this claim seem intuitively correct. Against this, we argue that you do not in general have a moral requirement to bear more than moderate cost to save even a child who is just in front of you. Moreover, we explain why you have a much more demanding moral requirement in certain cases by appealing to the notions of undue risk and cost sharing.


Duties of assistance Global poverty Peter Singer 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Christian Barry, School of Philosophy, RSSSAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for the Study of Mind in NatureUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public EthicsCharles Sturt UniversityCanberraAustralia

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