Trolley problem  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The trolley problem is a thought experiment in ethics, first introduced by Philippa Foot in 1967, but also extensively analysed by Judith Jarvis Thomson, Peter Unger, and Frances Kamm as recently as 1996.

Outside of the domain of traditional philosophical discussion, the trolley problem has been a significant feature in the fields of cognitive science and, more recently, of neuroethics. It has also been a topic on various TV shows dealing with human psychology.

The general form of the problem is this: Person A can take an action which would benefit many people, but in doing so, person B would be unfairly harmed. Under what circumstances would it be morally just for Person A to violate Person B's rights in order to benefit the group?

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Trolley problem" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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