WANG Xueshi (王薛时) joined HSS in 2021. Before that, he was a fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University (2018-2020). He has published in a diverse range of ethical subfields, including axiology, normative ethics, applied ethics, and political philosophy. His current research interests concern moral aggregation and its applications to public policy. 


I am interested in ethics and political theory. Thematically, my research program utilizes moral principles to understand the normative role of numbers in the context of conflict situations.

There is a long-lasting debate about the normative role of numbers on moral decisions in conflict situations where not all claims or interests can be perfectly satisfied. Consider a hypothetical choice between saving a group of m people and saving a group of n people (m>n) but not both. Assume, as most researchers have done, that there is no morally relevant difference among them, and there is no special tie between the agent charged with the task of determining whom to save and any of these potential recipients. Most proponents of non-consequentialism argue that, allegedly without any aggregation of individuals’ claims or interests, m instead of n should be saved. I attempt to defend the view that it is morally permissible to save the few. Specifically, I argue that, when it comes to deciding which of non-overlapping groups of people is to receive a scarce indivisible good, a random selection procedure (flipping a coin, for example) should be used to distribute the good in question for the reason that giving each individual an equal chance is required by the moral value of fairness.

Within this context, my research examines the relationship between the normative role of numbers and fairness, including: 

l Considering whether numbers should count in conflict situations where individuals involved do not have claims to the good under allocation.

l Investigating the requirements of fairness and its normative implication for conflict situations where individuals involved have equal or unequal claims to the good under allocation.

l Scrutinizing whether the requirements of fairness could contribute a solution to the Number Problem.

l Exploring the possibility that there is a more fundamental idea underlying the value of fairness and its implication for the normative role of numbers. 

Awards and honors
  • 2023
  • 2022
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 01


    National Social Science Fund of China 2022: ”Moral Choices: Numbers, Fairness and Minimizing Harm“(Grant No. 22FZXB098)

  • 02


    Humanities and Social Sciences Research Project of the Ministry of Education 2022: ”Allocation of Scarce Critical Care Resources During Major Public Health Emergencies“ (Grant No. 22YJC720018)

  • 03


    Tsinghua University Future Scholar

  • 04


    Education, Social Science and Medical Research Paper Award of Joint University 2013


  Monograph & Book Chapter



 l  Peer Reviewed Articles

Xueshi Wang (2023). “Intentions, Impartiality, and the Fairness of Lotteries.” Philosophia (A&HCI), Published Online First: 13 March 2023. DOI: 10.1007/s11406-023-00640-1.

Xueshi Wang (2023). “Fetal Reduction, Moral Permissibility and the All or Nothing Problem.” Journal of Medical Ethics (SSCI)Published Online First: 22 February 2023. DOI: 10.1136/jme-2022-108446.

Xueshi Wang (2021). “Saving Lives: For the Best Outcome?” Philosophia (A&HCI)50(1), 337-351DOI: 10.1007/s11406-021-00355-1.

Xueshi Wang (2021). “The Fairness of Ventilator Allocation During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Bioethics (A&HCI, SSCI), 36(6), 715-723DOI: 10.1111/bioe.12955.


王薛时,《生命救助与道德决策——评凯姆的“最佳结果论证”》,《道德与文明》CSSCI),2022 年04期,第63-70页。

王薛时,《道德无差别是否存在可传递性?》,《哲学动态》CSSCI),2021 03期,第80-87页。
——生命救助,个体乐透与公平性问题》,《自然辩证法通讯》CSSCI),2021 10期,第1-9页。

王薛时,《省思独断理性主义——评〈非物质经济、文化与生态文明〉》,《唐都学刊》2016 05期,第126-128页。


王薛时,《人数真的重要吗?》,《哲学分析》CSSCI),2019 04 期,第136-198页。(《社会科学文摘》转载)