A reply to Thomson on 'turning the trolley'; a case study illustrating the importance of a hohfeldian analysis of the 'mechanics' of rights
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In her latest writing on the trolley problem, 'Turning the Trolley,' Judith Jarvis Thomson defends the following counter-intuitive position: if confronted with a choice of allowing a trolley to hit and kill five innocent people on the track straight ahead, or turning it onto one innocent person on a side-track, a bystander must allow it to hit the five straight ahead. In contrast, Thomson claims, the driver of the trolley has a duty to turn it from the five onto the one. Thomson’s argument is fundamentally flawed in several important ways. We explain her argument and identify its major flaws. Our aims are: (a) to show that Thomson has not provided reason to think such an act is not permissible, and (b) to use the process of exposing the weaknesses in different parts of her argument to demonstrate the importance of undertaking what we call a Hohfeldian analysis of the 'mechanics' of the rights in play. A Hohfeldian 'mechanics' of rights extends the distinctions that Hohfeld first introduced to take into account the pro tanto normative 'forces' at work on an agent, the balance of which determines who in the end has what kind of right.
|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
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.
Judith Jarvis Thomson (2008). Turning the Trolley. Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (4):359-374.
Bryce Huebner & Marc D. Hauser (2011). Moral Judgments About Altruistic Self-Sacrifice: When Philosophical and Folk Intuitions Clash. Philosophical Psychology 24 (1):73-94.
Judith Jarvis Thomson (1976). Killing, Letting Die, and the Trolley Problem. The Monist 59 (2):204-217.
William J. FitzPatrick (2009). Thomson's Turnabout on the Trolley. Analysis 69 (4):636-643.
Anton Tupa (2009). Killing, Letting Die, and the Morality of Abortion. Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (1):1-26.
B. C. Postow (1989). Thomson and the Trolley Problem. Southern Journal of Philosophy 27 (4):529-537.
Added to index2009-06-25
Total downloads156 ( #6,819 of 1,692,636 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #32,661 of 1,692,636 )
How can I increase my downloads?