Books, Miscellaneous

Anarchy on wheels

A runaway train is hurtling towards five people tied to a railway track ahead. You are in a signal box and can pull a lever to switch the train to a siding upon which one man is standing unawares. Do you pull the lever and save the five but choose to kill the one? Or do you do nothing and allow the five to be killed? This famous question was posed in 1967 by the philosopher Philippa Foot.

Who knew car manufacturers were in the vanguard of ethical theory? Continue reading

Books, Rhetoric

A strident avenger for insulted human reason

Aristocracy, liberalism, progress, principles…useless words! A Russian doesn’t need them.” This quote, above a Penguin logo, has appeared on posters around London outraging sentiment. It has been accused of promoting ethnic-hatred; a petition to have the posters removed has been launched; Russian State media has thundered against British state-sponsored Russian-bashing; shrill social media moralists are on the march; a complaint is being made to the UK regulators. Continue reading