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Ephemeris, the Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy

Abstract

I want to raw attention to problems that close physical proximity between the driver and bystander can reveal in a new take on Judith Jarvis Thomson's well-known Trolly Problem. I apply Thomson's reasoning to hypothetical situations involving semi-autonomous, self-driving vehicles in order to highlight how complicated and counter-intuitive the distinctions between the two roles can become when physical distance is taken into account. This 'Tesla Problem' has clear implications for ethics and the laws governing autonomous vehicles, and they redound to how we should understand Thomson's original problem.

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