By Torbjorn Tannsjo

ISBN-10: 0190225580

ISBN-13: 9780190225582

While and why is it correct to kill? whilst and why is it improper? Torbjörn Tännsjö examines 3 theories at the ethics of killing during this publication: deontology, a libertarian ethical rights thought, and utilitarianism. the results of every thought are labored out for other kinds of killing: trolley-cases, homicide, capital punishment, suicide, assisted loss of life, abortion, killing in struggle, and the killing of animals. those implications are faced with our intuitions when it comes to them, and our ethical intuitions are tested in flip. purely these intuitions that continue to exist an knowing of the way we've got come to carry them are visible as 'considered' intuitions. the assumption is that the idea which could top clarify the content material of our thought of intuitions earnings inductive help from them. We needs to go beyond our slender cultural horizons and keep away from convinced cognitive errors with a view to carry thought of intuitions. during this quantity, appropriate for classes in ethics and utilized ethics, Tännsjö argues that during the ultimate research utilitarianism can top account for, and clarify, our thought of intuitions approximately a majority of these forms of killing.

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Extra resources for Taking Life: Three Theories on the Ethics of Killing

Sample text

In doing so, I will not rely on Kant’s own heuristic device, the first formulation of the categorical imperative. I have not found it helpful. I will also acknowledge, however, that Kant thinks that, apart from such perfect duties, as the one to the effect that one should not kill innocent human rational beings, or treat (the humanity in) them as mere means, he also thinks that there exists an imperfect 25 T a k i n g Li f e duty of beneficence,3 which can roughly be seen, I suppose, as a duty to maximize happiness among your fellow human creatures.

Brandt wanted us to submit our preferences to cognitive psychotherapy. My intention is, rather, to submit our moral intuitions to it. 12 Method of the moral phenomena of most minds, comparatively few are so thoroughly satisfied with them, as not to feel a need of some further moral knowledge even from a strictly practical point of view. For the particular intuitions do not, to reflective persons, present themselves as quite indubitable and irrefragable: nor do they always find when they have put an ethical question to themselves with all sincerity, that they are conscious of clear immediate insight in respect of it.

There are in fact two ways our credence in an intuition may go away. We may simply lose the intuition, when we learn more about its origin in our thinking. Or, we may still retain it but stop treating it as evidence any more. This is what happens when we learn about optics, as I suggested above. We still see a stick in the water as bent, but we do not believe, for this reason, that it is bent any more. Something similar can happen to some of our moral intuitions. Examples of this will be given in the book.

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Taking Life: Three Theories on the Ethics of Killing by Torbjorn Tannsjo


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