What exactly is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’?
1. The Is / Ought Problem
Do you draw conclusions from how things are to think about how things should be? There might be a gap in your reasoning.
Source: BBC (2014); Open University (2014). History of Ideas. Duration: 01:28
2. The Life You Can Save
Is there an important difference between a child drowning in front of you and one dying in a far off land? The philosopher Peter Singer thinks not. He acknowledges that we have biases that lead us to favour those near us over those further away, but argues these are irrational.
Source: BBC (2014); Open University (2014). History of Ideas. Duration: 01:31
3. The Trolley Problem
Is sacrificing one life to save the lives of many others the best possible outcome? The trolley problem is a thought experiment in ethics. The general form of the problem is this: There is a runaway train racing down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The train is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the train will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track. You have two options:
1) Do nothing, and the train kills the five people on the main track.
2) Pull the lever, diverting the train onto the side track where it will kill one person.
Which is the most ethical choice?
Source: BBC (2014); Open University (2014). History of Ideas. Duration: 01:37
4. Kant’s Axe
Is it ever morally acceptable to tell a lie? Kant thought not. His example of the would-be murderer explains his reasoning
Source: BBC (2014); Open University (2014). History of Ideas. Duration: 01:33
03. Thoughts on theory
04. Theology explained
05. History of the English language
06. History of Money
07. Economics explained
08. The European Union explained