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Trolleyology

1. A philosophical study of moral choices as demonstrated by the “trolley problem”: An out-of-control trolley hurtling down its track will kill the five people in its path. A switch, however, will redirect the trolley to another track where only one person would be hit. Is it permissible to hit the switch? Now imagine five people are in the path of the trolley and there is no switch. A heavy man is walking along a bridge above the track. Pushing the heavy man onto the track would stop the trolley, saving the five lives but killing the man. Is it permissible to push him?

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Gerard Debreu, who won a Nobel Prize in economics in 1983, was the first professor at Cal to be awarded the prestigious “Nobel Laureate” parking space. The idea for the perq can be traced to Berkeley’s only Laureate in Literature, Czeslaw Milosz, who jokingly requested it after Chancellor Ira Heyman asked Milosz if the university could do something special to show its appreciation.

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