Life-Prolonging Killings and their Relevance to Ethics

Lippert-Rasmussen, Kasper
June 1999
Ethical Theory & Moral Practice;Jun1999, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p135
Academic Journal
What makes killing morally wrong? And what makes killing morally worse than letting die? Standard answers to these two questions presuppose that killing someone involves shortening that person's life. Yet, as I argue in the first two sections of this article, this presupposition is false: Life-prolonging killings are conceivable. In the last two sections of the article, I explore the significance of the conceivability of such killings for various discussions of the two questions just mentioned. In particular, I show why the conceivability of life-prolonging killings renders Frances M. Kamm's attempt to provide an answer to the second question problematic.


Related Articles

  • Five Elements of Normative Ethics - A General Theory of Normative Individualism. Pfordten, Dietmar // Ethical Theory & Moral Practice;Aug2012, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p449 

    The article tries to inquire a third way in normative ethics between consequentialism or utilitarianism and deontology or Kantianism. To find such a third way in normative ethics, one has to analyze the elements of these classical theories and to look if they are justified. In this article it is...

  • act utilitarianism Philosophy.  // Dictionary of Theories;2002, p8 

    A definition of the phrase "act utilitarianism" is presented. It refers to the official form of utilitarianism, which states that a person's duty on any occasion is to act in the way which will produce consequences better than those that any other action open to them would produce.

  • Egalitarianism versus Utilitarianism. Binmore, Ken // Utilitas;Nov98, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p353 

    Presents a comparative analysis of egalitarianism and utilitarianism from a naturalistic perspective. Deontological theory of J. Rawls; Consequential theory of J. Harsanyi; Empathy equilibrium; Differences in fairness judgments.

  • Impartial Reasons, Moral Demands. McElwee, Brian // Ethical Theory & Moral Practice;Aug2011, Vol. 14 Issue 4, p457 

    Consequentialism is often charged with demandingness objections which arise in response to the theory's commitment to impartiality. It might be thought that the only way that consequentialists can avoid such demandingness objections is by dropping their commitment to impartialism. However, I...

  • The Common Structure of Kantianism and Act-Utilitarianism. WOODARD, CHRISTOPHER // Utilitas;Jun2013, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p246 

    This article proposes a way of understanding Kantianism, act-utilitarianism and some other important ethical theories according to which they are all versions of the same kind of theory, sharing a common structure. I argue that this is a profitable way to understand the theories discussed. It is...

  • The Moral Oracle's Test. Hansson, Sven // Ethical Theory & Moral Practice;Aug2014, Vol. 17 Issue 4, p643 

    When presented with a situation involving an agent's choice between alternative actions, a moral oracle says what the agent is allowed to do. The oracle bases her advice on some moral theory, but the nature of that theory is not known by us. The moral oracle's test consists in determining...

  • Prerogatives Without Restrictions? Das, Ramon // Philosophical Studies;Jun2000, Vol. 99 Issue 3, p347 

    Discusses the dilemma relating to hybrid theory. Theory's rejection of consequentialism; Comparison to dominant modes of contemporary moral theorizing; Ways in which consequantialist theories demand too much of individuals; Problems with moral theory.

  • Consequentialism, Alternatives, and Actualism. Carlson, Erik // Philosophical Studies;Dec1999, Vol. 96 Issue 3, p253 

    This article focuses on literature on utilitarianism. For a long time, it appears, the internal structure of consequentialism was regarded as relatively unproblematic. During the last two or three decades, however, such structural questions have received much more attention. Classical...

  • Playing Dice with Morality: Weighted Lotteries and the Number Problem. DOUCET, MATHIEU // Utilitas;Jun2013, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p161 

    In this article I criticize the non-consequentialist Weighted Lottery (WL) solution to the choice between saving a smaller or a larger group of people. WL aims to avoid what non-consequentialists see as consequentialism's unfair aggregation by giving equal consideration to each individual's...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics