The Trolley Problem Of The Monist

1624 Words Dec 2nd, 2014 7 Pages
Judith Jarvis Thomson presents an ethical dilemma entitled The Trolley Problem in The Monist. The problem describes a situation in which a trolley car is moving quickly and out of control on a train track towards five people who are tied to the tracks; you have the power to pull a lever, change the direction of the trolley car and save those five people – at the expense of the life of one person who is on the track the car was diverted to (Thomson 1397). The choice to be made is not just about whether or not one should pull the lever though. The problem dictates a choice about whether one would kill, in the case of choosing to pull the lever to kill the one person and save the five, or letting die, in which case nothing is done and the five are killed because of the lack of action taken (Thomson 1398). Thomson believes it would be incorrect to turn the trolley and willingly choose to kill one person, rather than allow the five to die, but the philosophies of Immanuel Kant and John Stewart Mill must be analyzed to determine whether they would agree with Thomson, or have a different view from Thomson as well as one another. When considering J.J. Thomson’s Trolley Problem, the philosophies of Kant and Mill must be fully analyzed and expressed to determine the most plausible perspective to be taken by both philosophers on the issue. There are strengths, weaknesses and criticisms of both ethical arguments, and these will be considered as well in the analysis. The ethical…
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