Off the Rails: Thin Moral thinking and stylised ethical dilemmas

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Abstract

This introduction situates the trolley problem and other such dilemmas in anthropological debates about contextualisation and abstraction both within and beyond the realm of the moral. We highlight some of the criticisms anthropologists have made of the ‘thinness’ of ethical thought experiments, whilst also suggesting some ways in which philosophers might wish to defend them. We also point to a growing interest on the part of a range of anthropologists in formalised, stylized, and abbreviated modes of ethical reasoning and emphasise the importance of attending to such forms of reasoning, even though they may conflict with our disciplinary preference for the ‘thick’ and the contextualised.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Analysis
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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