“…But it need not be this way. Sometimes, an argument can change our mind. How, then, can we reason our way through the contested terrain of justice and injustice, equality and inequality, individual rights and the common good?“
1. Start with an opinion or a conviction
e.g.: “Turn the trolley onto the side track”
2. Seek out the principle on which it is based
e.g.: “Better to sacrifice one life to avoid the death of many”
3. Confront with a situation that confounds the principle
e.g.: “I thought it was always right to save as many lives as possible, and yet it seems wrong to push the man off the bridge.”
=> Feeling the force of that confusion, and the pressure to sort it out, is the impulse to philosophy.
=> Confronted with this tension, we may revise our judgment about the right thing to do, or rethink the principle we initially espoused.
=> As we encounter new situations, we move back and forth between our judgments and our principles, revising each in light of the other.
=> This turning of mind, from the world of action to the realm of reasons and back again, is what moral reflection consists in.
Sandel Michael J. (2009) Justice: What’s the Right Thing to do? New York: FSG.
Sandel Michael J. ,Open Course : Justice, episode 1. (youtube)