Moral inertia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

I argue that, according to ordinary morality, there is moral inertia, that is, moral pressure to fail to intervene in certain circumstances. Moral inertia is manifested in scenarios with a particular causal structure: deflection scenarios, where a threatening or benefiting process is diverted from a group of people to another. I explain why the deflection structure is essential for moral inertia to be manifested. I argue that there are two different manifestations of moral inertia: strict prohibitions on interventions, and constraints on interventions. Finally, I discuss the connection between moral inertia and the distinction between killing and letting die (or doing and allowing harm).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-133
Number of pages17
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Volume140
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Inertia
Scenarios
Deflection
Morality
Killing
Manifestation
Prohibition
Harm
Causal

Keywords

  • Causation
  • Deflection
  • Killing
  • Letting die
  • Malm
  • Trolley

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

Cite this

Moral inertia. / Sartorio, Ana C.

In: Philosophical Studies, Vol. 140, No. 1, 07.2008, p. 117-133.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sartorio, Ana C. / Moral inertia. In: Philosophical Studies. 2008 ; Vol. 140, No. 1. pp. 117-133.
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