In J. Campbell, M. O’Rourke & H. Silverstein (eds.), Action, Ethics and Responsibility. MIT Press (2013)

Authors
Helen Frowe
Stockholm University
Abstract
Introduction This paper defends the moral significance of the distinction between killing and letting die. In the first part of the paper, I consider and reject Michael Tooley’s argument that initiating a causal process is morally equivalent to refraining from interfering in that process. The second part disputes Tooley’s suggestion it is merely external factors that make killing appear to be worse than letting die, when in reality the distinction is morally neutral. Tooley is mistaken to claim that we are permitted to kill bystanders who had no fair chance to avoid being at risk of harm. We can support the significance of the killing / letting die distinction by considering the difference between what we are permitted to do in self-defence against those who are going to kill us, and what we can do against those who are going to let us die. I also suggest that we are less responsible for the deaths we allow than for the deaths that we cause, since we do not make people worse off for our presence in cases where we fail to save them.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014731.003.0003
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,548
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Abortion and Infanticide.Michael Tooley - 1984 - Philosophy 59 (230):545-547.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Frowe's Machine Cases.Simkulet William - 2015 - Filosofiska Notiser 2 (2): 93-104.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Is Killing No Worse Than Letting Die?Winston Nesbitt - 1995 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 12 (1):101-106.
Killing and Letting Die.James Rachels - 2001 - In Lawrence C. Becker Mary Becker & Charlotte Becker (eds.), Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2nd Edition. Routledge.
Ambiguities in 'Killing' and 'Letting Die'.Gary M. Atkinson - 1983 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 8 (2):159-168.
A Moral Distinction Between Killing and Letting Die.Carla E. Kary - 1980 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 5 (4):326-332.
Ronald Dworkin on Abortion and Assisted Suicide.F. M. Kamm - 2001 - The Journal of Ethics 5 (3):221-240.
Self-Defence and the Principle of Non-Combatant Immunity.Helen Frowe - 2011 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (4):530-546.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-03-14

Total views
273 ( #28,100 of 2,348,331 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #57,232 of 2,348,331 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes