David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Utilitas 19 (4):407-429 (2007)
Many political libertarians argue, or assume, that negative moral duties (duties not to harm others) prevail over positive moral duties (duties to aid others), and that the legal system ought to reflect such pre-eminence. I call into question this strategy for defending a libertarian order. I start by arguing that a successful account of the well-known case of a runaway trolley that is about to kill five innocents unless a passer-by diverts it onto one innocent, killing him, should point to (i) the ex ante advantage to all six of being subject to a policy of redirection of runaway trolleys, and (ii) the causal structure of killing vs. letting-die choices. I then argue that this account of the trolley case entails that legal systems reflecting the relative stringency of negative and positive moral duties should uphold redistributive measures at odds with libertarianism. The assumption that the legal system ought to reflect, through non-causal routes, moral principles and their relative weights leads to either an ideal-theory (in Rawls's sense) assessment of libertarianism or a symbolic account of the relationships between morality and law. Libertarians should undermine this assumption if they hope to offer an all-things-considered case for free markets
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Judith Jarvis Thomson (1976). Killing, Letting Die, and the Trolley Problem. The Monist 59 (2):204-217.
Adam Kolber (2009). The Organ Conscription Trolley Problem. American Journal of Bioethics 9 (8):13-14.
Margery Bedford Naylor (1988). The Moral of the Trolley Problem. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 48 (4):711-722.
Michael J. Costa (1986). The Trolley Problem Revisited. Southern Journal of Philosophy 24 (4):437-449.
Alexander Rosenberg (1992). Contractarianism and the "Trolley" Problem1. Journal of Social Philosophy 23 (3):88-104.
C. L. Sheng (1995). A Suggested Solution to the Trolley Problem. Journal of Social Philosophy 26 (1):203-217.
B. C. Postow (1989). Thomson and the Trolley Problem. Southern Journal of Philosophy 27 (4):529-537.
Michael Gorr (1990). Thomson and the Trolley Problem. Philosophical Studies 59 (1):91 - 100.
Ezio Di Nucci (2012). Self-Sacrifice and the Trolley Problem. Philosophical Psychology 26 (5):662-672.
Alessandro Lanteri, Chiara Chelini & Salvatore Rizzello (2008). An Experimental Investigation of Emotions and Reasoning in the Trolley Problem. Journal of Business Ethics 83 (4):789 - 804.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads115 ( #24,935 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?