This discussion attempts to show that the elusive solution to the trolley problem lies hidden in the solution to another perennial problem in moral philosophy: the ducking puzzle. The key to solving the ducking puzzle is an important, but overlooked, exception to our obligation not to harm others, an exception for , which, it is argued here, is also the key to solving the trolley problem.
This broad and lucid study of the merits of different economic systems combines economic criteria of success with a philosophically sophisticated analysis of ethical foundations and moral justification. -/- Despite the fall of socialism, the deep feelings of discontent with capitalism that gave rise to socialism remain as strong as ever. This discontent stems from what are perceived to be serious, moral deficiencies inherent in current capitalism, such as vast inequalities in wealth and opportunities. Thus the search for an alternative (...) system that avoids these inequalities continues. -/- In this book, Professor Haslett investigates whether the deficiencies of capitalism can be overcome without abandoning capitalism or its traditional strengths. He begins by setting out and defending a moral perspective appropriate for evaluating economic systems, and goes on to examine and reject two alternative systems: libertarian capitalism and centrally planned socialism. He concludes that capitalism with morality is possible, and outlines and defends such an alternative system, which features elements of worker control, a strict inheritance quota, and a redistribution of income that does not compromise either freedom or productivity. (shrink)
Social scientists could learn some useful things from philosophy. Here I shall discuss what I take to be one such thing: a better understanding of the concept of utility. There are several reasons why a better understanding may be useful. First, this concept is commonly found in the writings of social scientists, especially economists (see, for example, Sen and Williams, 1982). Second, utility is the main ingredient in utilitarianism, a perspective on morality that, traditionally, has been very influential among social (...) scientists. Third, and most important, with a better understanding of utility comes, as I shall try to show here, a better understanding of “personal welfare”. or, in other words, of what may be said to be in people's best interests. Such an understanding is useful to social scientists and philosophers alike, whether for utilitarian purposes or not. (shrink)