Philosophers like to make up stories, especially when they’re talking about ethics and morality.
These “thought experiments” are helpful tools to think through a problem. They help clarify what you really think about something.
If you’re debating whether or not lying is wrong, for instance, it can be helpful to consider a case in which someone wants information from you that they will use to hurt someone else. Would it be wrong to lie then? Or is lying okay if it prevents someone from getting hurt?
There are lots of famous thought experiments from the history of philosophy. But self-driving cars have made one of them especially famous. That’s because the engineers programming these new cars have to provide an answer to it.[Read more…]