Moral Philosophy Seminar (Week 1, TT18)

Moral Philosophy Seminar

Suppose you can either: (i) do nothing, (ii) sacrifice your arm to save one child, or (iii) sacrifice your arm to save five. Many believe there are non-consequentialist moral options according to which (i) is permissible. Even if there are, it seems that (ii) is wrong, given the availability of (iii). In an earlier paper, I defended the claim that (ii) is wrong, even if (i) is permissible. More generally, I claimed that even if there are moral options of the above sort, you act wrongly if you fail to do (much) more good at no (or little) extra cost to yourself. In the present paper, I respond to a number of important objections to these claims, including those from the convenors of this very Seminar (Jeff McMahan and Tom Sinclair).

Moral Philosophy Seminar Convenors: Prof Jeff McMahan and Dr Tom Sinclair