Equating Innocent Threats and Bystanders

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Abstract:

abstract 

Michael Otsuka claims that it is impermissible to kill innocent threats because doing so is morally equivalent to killing bystanders. I show that Otsuka's argument conflates killing as a means with treating a person herself as a means. The killing of a person can be a means only if that person is instrumental in the threat to Victim's life. A permission to kill a person as a means will not permit killing bystanders. I also defend a permission to kill innocent threats against Otsuka's Trolley Cases. Otsuka depicts a person tied to an oncoming trolley as a bystander. I argue that such characters are threats whom Victim can permissibly kill.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5930.2008.00406.x

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, University of Sheffield, Arts Tower, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2 TN, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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