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The Trolley Problem, or Would You Throw the Fat Guy Off the Bridge?: A Philosophical Conundrum (English Edition) Versión Kindle

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Longitud: 112 páginas Idioma: Inglés

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Jaunty, lucid and concise. Sarah Bakewell, The New York Times Book Review Thomas Cathcart's charming approach in The Trolley Problem is to dramatize the dilemma by presenting a trial in the court of public opinion, complete with arguments from lawyers on both sides as well as a psychologist, a professor, a bishop, listeners to a radio call-in show and so forth The Wall Street Journal The extremely engaging philosopher Thomas Cathcart explores ethical conundrums in a refreshingly innovative and humorous manner. The New Idealist"

Descripción del producto

A trolley is careering out of control. Up ahead are five workers; on a spur to the right stands a lone individual. You, a bystander, happen to be standing next to a switch that could divert the trolley, which would save the five, but sacrifice the one—do you pull it? Or say you’re watching from an overpass. The only way to save the workers is to drop a heavy object in the trolley’s path. And you’re standing next to a really fat man….

This ethical conundrum—based on British philosopher Philippa Foot’s 1967 thought experiment—has inspired decades of lively argument around the world. 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 serious ideas to “the trolley problem.” Framing the issue as a possible crime that is to be tried in the Court of Public Opinion, Cathcart explores philosophy and ethics, intuition and logic. Along the way he makes connections to the Utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham, Kant’s limits of reason, St. Thomas Aquinas’s fascinating Principle of Double Effect, and more.

Read with an open mind, this provocative book will challenge your deepest held notions of right and wrong. Would you divert the trolley? Kill one to save five? Would you throw the fat man off the bridge?

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  • Formato: Versión Kindle
  • Tamaño del archivo: 564 KB
  • Longitud de impresión: 144
  • Editor: Workman Publishing Company (10 de septiembre de 2013)
  • Vendido por: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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16 de 16 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
HASH(0x9f0a0780) de un máximo de 5 estrellas start reading this. Savor a unique approach to understanding an old problem and become a critical thinker on new issues 12 de octubre de 2013
Por STEVEN KUSSIN - Publicado en
Formato: Versión Kindle Compra verificada
This is a wonderful book. We live in times when information comes at us fast, and like drinking from the torrent of a fire hydrant, we take in too little. Our thinking then becomes shallow and sloppy. The Trolley Problem by Tom Cathcart of 'Plato and Platypus Walk Into A Bar' fame is doing something different here.
Slowly but inexorably the reader feels the pull of the book's gravity as it draws us into what might seem an arcane area of little contemporary interest. The Trolley Problem is a classic ethical dilemma. But Cathcart breathes contemporary life into it making a rich font for many daily dilemmas.
The Trolley Problem ( when, in one version, a bystander diverts a racing trolley away from five people by choosing to pull a switch that instead diverts its path to a track that will kill only one innocent bystander) Cathcart first deconstructs the classic arguments from the world of philosophers (Hume, Bentham, Kant, Aquinas and others) using his trademarked humor and clarity.. But then something happens. He makes us think! He draws analogies to 9/11, medical rationing , Obamacare, Homeland Security. Not only do we see the Trolley Problem in a new light but also these very contemporary controversies take on a new dimension . Reason, logic ethics morality and gut feelings are are examined against what is happening in the headlines today.
Increasingly morality is seen as a simple offshoot of human evolution. Using old neural pathways, brain anatomy, and the identical brain chemistry of ancient primates and mammals, human evolution puts them to new use. They allow us to live in a complex society and interact with each other in new ways.
Cathcart with humor grace and an incisive mind, presents old problems in new ways allowing us to think carefully critically and thoughtfully. Your time will be well spent and your views on things will be forever changed when you have finished this wonderful journey he guides us through
This is a wonderful book only Cathcart could write and you need not be a philosopher to apply. This book is for everyone who will allow themselves the luxury and joy of just slowing down and thinking, if just for awhile. A must read.
Sent from my iPad
3 de 3 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
HASH(0x9f0a0c48) de un máximo de 5 estrellas A fun read but how would you vote if on the jury? 5 de enero de 2014
Por Carl_in_Richland - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura
The `Trolley Problem' was developed by philosopher Philippa Foot in 1967 to illustrate in abstract form the ethical dilemmas involved when making life or death decisions for other people. With some modification from its original form, it can be summarized as a situation where you see a trolley car rolling down the tracks on which a number of people are working and who are oblivious to the approaching car. You have the option of doing nothing in which case the people will surely be run over by the trolley, or throwing a switch that will direct the trolley to an adjacent track on which there are fewer people. What to do? There are several variations on this problem, the most interesting being a scenario in which you can push a fat guy in front of the trolley car which will stop the car, saving the lives of the people on the track but surely killing the fat guy.

To illustrate the many perspectives that one can take in analyzing this problem. Dr. Cathcart presents it as a trial, complete with prosecuting attorney, defense attorney and various friends of the court including a college philosophy professor, a psychologist and a bishop from the catholic church. Each presents an argument for why "Ms. Daphne Jones of Oakland, California" should or should not be found guilty of manslaughter.

The perspective I found most interesting was that of the bishop who summarizes the arguments made by St. Thomas' regarding the permissibility of killing another person. Unlike the obvious argument one would expect from the church (or any other religious institution) that we should go good and avoid evil (duh!), St. Thomas tackles the more complicated albeit realistic situation where an act has two effects, one good and one evil. This of course is precisely the situation of the Trolley Problem.

[There is one perspective that was not presented and which I think was critical. When an individual makes the decision to push the fat guy off the bridge to stop the trolley, they should be expected to face the full consequences of their actions. This includes two categories of consequences. First, being a hero for saving the lives of those persons whose lives are saved, and accepting all the accolades and thanks that come with such life saving action. But it should also include acceptance of the fact that they intentionally took the life of another person with brings with it the punishment and grief associated with such an action. This argument is not discussed in 'The Trolley Problem' and is one of many that readers may come up with upon reflection of this book. It made me think that I would have supported a guilty verdict for Ms. Jones, with a commuted, or greatly reduced sentence.]

`The Trolley Problem' is a marvelous read for many reasons. First, it illustrates the complexity of evaluating a situation that has both a positive and negative aspect, giving many of the perspectives one can take in such problems. Second, it shows how philosophical thought can be a powerful tool applied to daily problems, although the trolley problem is somewhat extreme. But it shows that a rationale way of thinking should not be confined to academics or scholarly work, and in this regard I think Cathcart's book should be required reading in high school, showing youngsters how their intuitive or gut feelings can be totally misleading compared to what to a more careful analysis can produce. (For what it's worth, I also think Jim Stockdale's Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot (Reprint ed.) and Martha Nussbaum's Philosophical Interventions: Reviews 1986-2011 should be required for kids, although the later is a bit heavy).

And my final comment is simply that this is a fun book to read! It's lucid, light hearted style make it enjoyable to curl up with, and being a short book (slightly more than 100 pages) it is a quick read. But while reading it may take one evening, understanding the content and reflecting on how you would vote before judging Ms. Smith will take much longer.
3 de 3 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
HASH(0xa0e76a28) de un máximo de 5 estrellas A superb scenario about ethics and thought 2 de diciembre de 2013
Por Theodore A. Rushton - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura Compra verificada
Looking for an answer? It isn't here; instead, Cathcart rephrases the basic question in a variety of combinations which leave the ethics to the reader.

About 500 years ago, Galileo and others figured out the Earth revolved around the Sun. This contradicted the Bible, and so people were burned at the stake for daring to hold beliefs that the Church said condemned them to eternity in Hell. Burning at the stake wasn't part of astronomical learning; it was to teach the spectators about the eternal fate awaiting those who rejected the wisdom of the church.

The principle is similar to the trolley dilemma; do you sacrifice one to save many? Burn one heretic at the stake to save a multitude of spectators? The church, which cites the "wisdom" of St. Thomas Aquinas and the like, answered with a flaming 'Yes!"

Unfortunately, the "trolley debate" doesn't answer such questions. If anything, it shows that absolute answers are absolutely wrong. What if the five were serial killers ready to kill again if not stopped, and the one was a scientist on the verge of a cure for cancer? What if the five were scientists on the verge of a cure for cancer, and the one was a serial killer?

This is a book to generate thought, not to provide easy answers. For those who enjoy thinking, it's wonderful.

Chatham asks if someone would sacrifice their own life to save five strangers on the trolley tracks; well, would you? He ignores soldiers who fall on a live grenade to save others but cites pilots who stay with a doomed aircraft to fly it away from residential areas. Well, what would you do?

Obviously he cannot cite all possible examples. But, he raises enough issues to delight every thinking reader. Should anyone come up with an ethical answer, modern optimism says they won't be burned at the stake for discovering an original truth. Or would they be shunned or ignored? Well, would they?
1 de 1 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
HASH(0xa0e76908) de un máximo de 5 estrellas Lively and Entertaining Introduction to the Trolley Problem 2 de julio de 2014
Por Amazon Customer - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura
The Trolley Problem is an interesting topic in philosophy circles dealing with ethical problems and moral judgments. Thomas Cathcart in The Trolley Problem, or Would You Throw the Fat Guy Off the Bridge?: A Philosophical Conundrum imagines a trial in the Court of Public Opinion where various experts join in a debate about the ethical issue.

As with Cathcart's other books (see for example Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar . . .: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes, the writing is entertaining while still doing justice to the sometimes subtle philosophical points under discussion. The discussion of the Principle of Double Effect, an important doctrine in the Catholic Church, is particularly well done and interesting.

The cover, designed by Sarah Smith, and illustrated by Serge Seidlitz, is exceptionally attractive and throws additional light on the problem itself.
2 de 2 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
HASH(0x9f0a0d44) de un máximo de 5 estrellas THE TROLLEY PROBLEM 6 de diciembre de 2013
Por Jo A. Hopkins - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura Compra verificada
PURCHASE REVIEW -THE TROLLEY PROBLEM - This is an excellent book with a unique subject and it is well written.