The Trolley’s Last Stop before Consequentialism: Exploring the Terrain

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (5):1021-1035 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The doctrine of double effect and the many other principles that philosophers have advanced to remedy the doctrine’s defects were meant, in the words of Warren Quinn, "to capture certain kinds of fairly common intuitions about [a set of canonical] pairs of cases." Both cases in each pair “have the same consequential profile,” in that "agents bring about the same good result at the same cost in lives lost or harm suffered." But they exhibit differing deontological characteristics, leading the “common intuitions” to which Quinn refers to deem one but not the other case in each pair permissible. Over time, though, the body of cases has ballooned to embrace ever more complex situations about which intuitions are far less shared, and the principles advanced to explain those intuitions do not necessarily generate the “common” permissible/impermissible distinctions in each canonical pair. My goal is to offer a principle that does so, and to suggest that it reflects a unique deontology.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,088

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

In Defense of a Minimalist, Agent-Based Principle of Double Effect.Lawrence Masek - 2015 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 89 (3):521-538.
Intentions and Trolleys.Joseph Shaw - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (222):63 - 83.
When Will a Consequentialist Push You in Front of a Trolley?Scott Woodcock - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):299-316.
The Trolley Problem Mysteries.Eric Rakowski (ed.) - 2016 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press USA.
Trolleys and Double Effect in Experimental Ethics.Ezio Di Nucci - forthcoming - In Christoph Luetge, Hannes Rusch & Matthias Uhl (eds.), Experimental Ethics. Palgrave-Macmillan.
Intuitions, principles and consequences.A. B. Shaw - 2001 - Journal of Medical Ethics 27 (1):16-19.


Added to PP

27 (#523,372)

6 months
3 (#550,572)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Trolley Problem Mysteries.Frances Myrna Kamm (ed.) - 2015 - New York: Oup Usa.
Friends and future selves.Jennifer Whiting - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (4):547-80.
Defending double effect.Alison Hills - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 116 (2):133-152.

View all 6 references / Add more references