Nikil S. Mukerji
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
When moral philosophers evaluate moral theories they often draw on trolley cases. A number of authors have recently put forward objections against this approach to moral inquiry. In my paper, I will consider some of their criticisms. In doing so, I will not try to address the question whether the methodic use of trolley cases is ultimately defensible. I will rather draw attention to an important distinction that has hitherto been neglected. This distinction is between two uses to which trolley cases can be put, viz. the constructive use and the destructive use. I will argue that this differentiation is important, because some of the most powerful objections to the use of trolley cases apply only to their constructive use. Conclusions regarding the ultimate tenability of the methodic application of trolley cases may, hence, turn on assumptions as to how they are applied. I will start my talk with a discussion of the characteristics of trolley cases. Then, I will distinguish their constructive and destructive use. Finally, I will address arguments against trolley cases in light of this distinction.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 978-1-63435-038-9
DOI 10.5840/wcp23201812364
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