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Taking life : three theories on the ethics of killing / Torbjörn Tännsjö.

  • Tännsjö, Torbjörn, 1946-
  • Books

About this work


When and why is it right to kill? When and why is it wrong? Torbjörn Tännsjö examines three theories on the ethics of killing in this book: deontology, a libertarian moral rights theory, and utilitarianism. The implications of each theory are worked out for different kinds of killing: trolley-cases, murder, capital punishment, suicide, assisted death, abortion, killing in war, and the killing of animals. These implications are confronted with out intuitions in relation to them, and our moral intuitions are examined in turn. Only those intuitions that survive an understanding of how we have come to hold them are seen as 'considered' intuitions. The idea is the theory that can best explain the content of our considered intuitions gains inductive support from them. We must transcend our narrow cultural horizons and avoid certain cognitive mistakes in order to hold considered intuitions. Tännsjö aruges that in the final analaysis utilitarianism can best account for, and explain, our considered intuitions about all these kinds of killing. -- from back cover.


Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2015]

Physical description

xvi, 309 pages ; 23 cm

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references (pages 295-303 and index.


Method -- Bold conjectures -- The trolley cases -- Murder -- Capital punishment -- Suicide -- Assisted death -- Abortion -- A survival lottery -- Killing in war -- The killing of animals -- What are we to believe?


  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
    KJ /TAN
    Open shelves

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  • 9780190225582
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