What do Trollies Teach Us About Responsible Innovation?

In Death And Anti-Death, Volume 19: One Year After Judith Jarvis Thomson (1929-2020). Ria University Press (forthcoming)
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Since its inception, the trolley problem has sparked a rich debate both within and beyond moral philosophy. Often used as a primer for students to begin thinking about moral intuitions as well as how to distinguish between different forms of moral reasoning, the trolley problem is not without its uses in very practical, applied field like engineering. Often thought of as unrealistic by technically-oriented engineers, trolley cases in fact, help us to think about moral responsibility in a high tech world. This chapter explores the usefulness of trolley-like thinking within the realm of responsible innovation and discusses how despite the inherent issues with trolley scenarios, they remain nonetheless an indispensable tool for helping us to explore ways to maximize our moral responsibility in innovation.
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