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Morality, Mortality Volume II: Rights, Duties, and Status$
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F. M. Kamm

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195144024

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195144023.001.0001

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Killing and Letting Die: Arguments for Inequivalence and the Problem of Contextual Interaction

Killing and Letting Die: Arguments for Inequivalence and the Problem of Contextual Interaction

Chapter:
(p.43) 2 Killing and Letting Die: Arguments for Inequivalence and the Problem of Contextual Interaction
Source:
Morality, Mortality Volume II: Rights, Duties, and Status
Author(s):

F. M. Kamm (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195144023.003.0003

Considers a new use for non‐standardly equalized cases of killing and letting die, comparing cross‐definitionally equalized killing and non‐cross‐definitionally equalized killing cases to collect evidence for the truth or falsity of Thesis E (Thesis of the Moral Equivalence of Killing and Letting Die). In addition, a comparison is made of cross‐definitionally equalized killing and letting‐die cases to test for the moral significance of what is called here ‘non‐exportable’ definitional properties of killing or letting die. With this as a foundation, two arguments are presented against Thesis E: one argument focuses on the significance of certain definitional properties of killing and letting die, and one on the transitivity argument. The first argument may tell us why killing and letting die differ morally per se, not only that they do. Two methodological issues in making these arguments are also addressed: the Principle of Contextual Interaction, and the possible failure of transitivity.

Keywords:   case equalization, Contextual Interaction, equalizing cases cross‐definitionally, equalizing cases non‐cross‐definitionally, equalizing cases non‐standardly, kill and let‐die cases, killing and letting die, Moral Equivalence, moral inequivalence, non‐exportable definitional properties of killing or letting die, Principle of Contextual Interaction, Thesis E, transitivity

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