Tuesday , October 20 2020
Home / Jason Brennan /The Two Big News Cases and Philosophy

The Two Big News Cases and Philosophy

Summary:
Minneapolis police officers killed George Floyd by crushing his neck with a knee while he lay prostrate, helpless, and handcuffed. This is precisely the kind of case When All Else Fails is about. Every “hypothetical” example in the book is in fact a real case, but we had to say “based on” real cases for legal reasons. It would obviously be imprudent to attack the cops in this case, as they will likely shoot back and murder you. But would it be immoral–or instead justified–to do so? If you could have shot one from a window and escaped, would it be justified? (I argue yes.) Would it even be obligatory? Amy Cooper lied to the cops, saying that “an African American man…is threatening me and my dog.” Given how the police in the US often behave (see above), this lie is like calling in

Topics:
Jason Brennan considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Tarnell Brown writes From Harrison to Volstead: How Prohibition Laid the Foundation for the War on Drugs

Caleb Fuller writes How Transaction Costs Change the Analysis

Scott Sumner writes A win for monetarism?

Pierre Lemieux writes Bannon’s Nationalist Adventure: Natural Justice?

  1. Minneapolis police officers killed George Floyd by crushing his neck with a knee while he lay prostrate, helpless, and handcuffed.

    This is precisely the kind of case When All Else Fails is about. Every “hypothetical” example in the book is in fact a real case, but we had to say “based on” real cases for legal reasons.

    It would obviously be imprudent to attack the cops in this case, as they will likely shoot back and murder you. But would it be immoral–or instead justified–to do so? If you could have shot one from a window and escaped, would it be justified? (I argue yes.) Would it even be obligatory?

  2. Amy Cooper lied to the cops, saying that “an African American man…is threatening me and my dog.” Given how the police in the US often behave (see above), this lie is like calling in the death squad.

    Luckily, the police interviewed them and didn’t hurt anybody (as far as I’ve read). But in a nearby possible world, they show up and hurt or even kill the victim, Christian Cooper.

    Most people would judge her much more harshly had that happened. She is lucky she isn’t responsible for Cooper’s death. You can use it in your moral luck class.

Jason Brennan
Jason Brennan (Ph.D., 2007, University of Arizona) is Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Chair and Associate Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business, and by courtesy, Associate Professor of Philosophy, at Georgetown University, and formerly Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Research, at Brown University. He specializes in political philosophy and applied ethics.

Leave a Reply

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