A Kantian Solution to the Trolley Problem

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This chapter proposes a solution to the Trolley Problem in terms of the Kantian prohibition on using a person ‘merely as a means.’ A solution of this type seems impossible due to the difficulties it is widely thought to encounter in the scenario known as the Loop case. The chapter offers a conception of ‘using merely as a means’ that explains the morally relevant difference between the classic Bystander and Footbridge cases. It then shows, contrary to the standard view, that a bystander who diverts the trolley in the Loop case need not be using someone ‘merely as a means’ in doing so. This makes it possible to show why the Loop scenario does not undermine the explanation of the salient moral difference between the Bystander and Footbridge cases.
Originele taal-2English
TitelOxford Studies in Normative Ethics
RedacteurenMark Timmons
UitgeverijOxford University Press
ISBN van geprinte versie9780198867944, 9780198867951
StatusPublished - 2020

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