PHIL 181 - Lecture 16 - Philosophical Puzzles

Lecture 16 - Philosophical Puzzles


In the first part of the lecture, Professor Gendler finishes up the discussion of non-standard responses to the Trolley Problem by presenting Cass Sunstein’s proposed resolution. This is followed by a general discussion of heuristics and biases in the context of risk regulation. In the remainder of the lecture, she introduces two additional puzzles: the puzzle of ducking vs. shielding (which is due to Christopher Boorse and Roy Sorensen) and the puzzle of moral luck. Whereas the ducking/shielding puzzle seems amenable to a heuristic-style solution, the puzzle of moral luck appears to be more profound. The fact that an action can seem more or less morally blameworthy depending on consequences which were entirely outside of the agent’s control seems to resist a solution in terms of heuristics, and instead leads to deeper problems of free will and moral responsibility.



Gendler, The Elements of Philosophy, Nagel's “Moral Luck” (pp. 208-216)

Boorse, “Ducking Harm”

Course Media





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