Moral inertia

Philosophical Studies 140 (1):117 - 133 (2008)
Abstract
I argue that, according to ordinary morality, there is moral inertia, that is, moral pressure to fail to intervene in certain circumstances. Moral inertia is manifested in scenarios with a particular causal structure: deflection scenarios, where a threatening or benefiting process is diverted from a group of people to another. I explain why the deflection structure is essential for moral inertia to be manifested. I argue that there are two different manifestations of moral inertia: strict prohibitions on interventions, and constraints on interventions. Finally, I discuss the connection between moral inertia and the distinction between killing and letting die (or doing and allowing harm).
Keywords Killing  Letting die  Deflection  Causation  Trolley  Malm
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References found in this work BETA
N. Hall (2007). Structural Equations and Causation. Philosophical Studies 132 (1):109 - 136.
H. M. Malm (1989). Killing, Letting Die, and Simple Conflicts. Philosophy and Public Affairs 18 (3):238-258.

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