Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Phillipa Foot

I just found out that Phillipa Foot passed away on October 3rd.  We've lost a great philosopher, one of the few who can say that they've created a whole new sub-discipline in philosophy, completely unintentionally.  Trolleyology.  Yes, Phillipa Foot came up with the Trolley Problem, and Judith Jarvis Thompson added to it the fat man. 

I would turn the Trolley to kill 5 random people, if it meant saving Phillipa Foot.

So in her honor, I open up her infamous question to everyone.... What would you do, if faced with the decision of killing 5 random strangers on a runaway trolley, or turning the trolley to kill 1 random stranger.  What about a doctor who has 5 dying patient and 1 healthy patient whom he can kill to make the other 5 live?  And what exactly is the moral difference between the two?


  1. You know that Mary Anne Warren just died too, right?