From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The trolley problem is a thought experiment in ethics, first introduced by Philippa Foot in 1967, but also extensively analysed by Judith Jarvis Thomson, Peter Unger, and Frances Kamm as recently as 1996.
Outside of the domain of traditional philosophical discussion, the trolley problem has been a significant feature in the fields of cognitive science and, more recently, of neuroethics. It has also been a topic on various TV shows dealing with human psychology.
The general form of the problem is this: Person A can take an action which would benefit many people, but in doing so, person B would be unfairly harmed. Under what circumstances would it be morally just for Person A to violate Person B's rights in order to benefit the group?
- Experiments in Ethics, a book
- I, Robot
- Three Laws of Robotics
- Lifeboat ethics
- Omission bias
- Principle of double effect
- R. v. Dudley and Stephens
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- Sophie's Choice
- The Cold Equations
- Tunnel problem
- Violinist (thought experiment)
- Virtue ethics