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Trolley Problem, or Would You Throw the Fat Guy off the Bridge? A Philosophical Conundrum

ISBN-10: 076117513X
ISBN-13: 9780761175131
Edition: 2013
Authors: Thomas Cathcart
List price: $29.95 Buy it from $3.48
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Description: A trolley is careering out of control. Up ahead are five workers. On a spur to the right stands a single individual. And you’re a bystander holding a switch that could divert the trolley. Should you let events unfold and watch as the trolley plows  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/2/2014
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 144
Size: 5.50" wide x 7.50" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.506
Language: English

A trolley is careering out of control. Up ahead are five workers. On a spur to the right stands a single individual. And you’re a bystander holding a switch that could divert the trolley. Should you let events unfold and watch as the trolley plows into the five? Or intervene—pull the switch, killing the one? This ethical conundrum—based on British philosopher Philippa Foot’s 1967 thought experiment, the Trolley Problem—has inspired decades of lively argument around the world. Simple, provocative, even a little whimsical, it’s a perfect conversation starter.Now Thomas Cathcart, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar, brings his sharp intelligence, quirky humor, and gift for popularizing philosophy to the Trolley Problem. Framing the issue as a possible crime that is to be tried in the Court of Public Opinion, Cathcart explores right and wrong, philosophy and ethics, intuition and logic, and more. The book is short but meaty, a lighthearted, informative, and completely compelling approach to thinking about big issues. There’s the prosecutor’s argument, and that of the defense. A professor’s analysis, a brief from a bishop, a psychologist’s opinion, and what the jury has to say. And along the way we learn about the Utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham, Kant’s limits of reason, St. Thomas Aquinas’s fascinating Principle of Double Effect, and WWND (What would Nietzsche do?).So the question is: Would you—should you—pull the switch?

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