Rescue and personal involvement: a response to Woollard

Theron Gene Pummer, Roger Crisp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fiona Woollard argues that when one is personally involved in an emergency, one has a moral requirement to make substantial sacrifices to aid others that one would not otherwise have. She holds that there are three ways in which one could be personally involved in an emergency: by being physically proximate to the victims of the emergency; by being the only person who can help the victims; or by having a personal encounter with the victims. Each of these factors is claimed to be defeasibly sufficient to ground personal involvement, and thus a requirement of substantial sacrifice to aid. Woollard defends this view on the basis of a number of cases. We show that Woollard's cases contain various confounding factors. In view of the more precisely drawn cases offered here, it is clear that neither proximity nor uniqueness nor personal encounter is intuitively defeasibly sufficient in the way Woollard claims.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberanz052
VolumeAdvance articles
Early online date16 Sept 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Sept 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Rescue and personal involvement: a response to Woollard'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this