Mar. 12-23 (Nussbaum, Thomson)

Monday, March 12 & Wed. March 14


Martha Nussbaum, by Robin Holland, on Wikimedia Commons, licensed CC BY-SA 3.0


Nussbaum, Martha. “Capabilities and Human Rights.” Fordham Law Review 66.2 (1997): 273-300



Discussion meetings March 14 and 16

There will be student-led discussions in discussion meetings this week.

Monday, March 19

Peer feedback on draft of essay 2 this week. See the instructions for essay 2 for how to complete it (will be posted under “assignments” when ready).



Watch video lectures on this material before class.

1. Reading:

  • Judith Jarvis Thomson, “The Trolley Problem,” The Yale Law Journal 94:6 (May 1985). You only need to read up through section VIII, stopping on p. 1412 (the rest is optional).

2. Videos

Overview of the trolley problem, from BBC:


Below there are also three video lectures on the trolley problem and on Thomson’s article, that I have made. You will need to watch them before class on Wed., Feb. 8, and do a couple of activities about them here on the site.

Before watching these videos, please participate in these two polls (optional; this doesn’t keep track of who has done so or not, but it could be interesting to see the results!)

Do you think it's permissible for the bystander to flip the switch and move the trolley onto the track with one person instead of five?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Do you think it's morally permissible for the bystander to push the large person onto the tracks, thereby killing one instead of five?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


Wednesday March 21

We will finish discussing the trolley problem…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *