Simon Beck
University of the Western Cape
The aim of this paper is to re-evaluate the manner in which the Ticking Bomb Scenario (TBS), a thought experiment in philosophical enquiry, has been used in the discussion of the justifiability or otherwise of forward-looking interrogational torture (FLIT). The paper argues that criticisms commonly raised against the thought experiment are often inappropriate or irrelevant. A great many criticisms misunderstand the way in which thought experiments in general, and the TBS in particular, are supposed to work in philosophical (and for that matter scientific) inquiry. The paper is not about the acceptability or otherwise of FLIT per se but rather an attempt to show that thought experiments such as the TBS are useful analytic tools and ought not to be rejected due to their inappropriate use by those engaged in the justifiability or otherwise of FLIT. By rescuing the TBS from its erroneous use the paper seeks to show its proper worth as part of an argumentative device in uncovering conflicting moral intuitions in our search for ethical truths.
Keywords Thought-experiments  Thought experiments  Ticking Bomb Scenario
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ISBN(s) 0739-098X
DOI 10.5840/ijap201561741
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