An interesting Philosophical debate question

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MakeContact
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This is a question that an acquaintance of mine a few years above me got given in an Oxford philosophy interview. I thought it was an interesting question, so I asked some of my friends what they thought, and got some interesting responses. So now, I'm bringing it here

If a man is shot in Texas on Monday morning, and is flown by air ambulance to New Hampshire, where he dies of his wounds in a hospital on Thursday, where does the killing take place?

I look forward to seeing your responses
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democracyforum
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Texas
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The_Duck
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Wherever the bullet is lodged.
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KeepYourChinUp
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The crime is murder and the murder occured in Texas.
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username972634
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Definitely Texas
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cambio wechsel
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Not Texas and not a killing. No way in the world is anyone going down for murder when a decision was taken (why?) to airlift a wounded man 1700 miles and he died three days after the shooting.
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FrankJaegar
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This is the kind of **** I'd expect from Oxford.
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cambio wechsel
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(Original post by FrankJaegar)
This is the kind of **** I'd expect from Oxford.
I don't know about specifically Oxford but this is the kind of nonsense which gives philosophy a bad name.

That's not a philosophical question. It's perhaps a question which offers a person opportunity to showcase critical thinking skills, would possibly be their justification for asking it.
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Mequa
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Texas. He was mortally wounded there, since best efforts elsewhere couldn't save his life. That classes it as the murder taken place there, even though his place of death was New Hampshire, effectively delaying his death.

This is a rather silly semantic issue. "Killing" in a time and place suggests the person dies there, which leads to confusion. The law recognises such an act as murder even if the death is delayed, and the person ends up dying elsewhere, yet the injuries sustained lead to death despite best efforts by paramedics.

Of course this is a rather silly example, due to its improbability for one. Furthermore, such semantic questions strike me as pseudo-intellectual.
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DErasmus
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(Original post by Mequa)
Texas. He was mortally wounded there, since best efforts elsewhere couldn't save his life. That classes it as the murder taken place there, even though his place of death was New Hampshire, effectively delaying his death.

This is a rather silly semantic issue. "Killing" in a time and place suggests the person dies there, which leads to confusion. The law recognises such an act as murder even if the death is delayed, and the person ends up dying elsewhere, yet the injuries sustained lead to death despite best efforts by paramedics.

Of course this is a rather silly example, due to its improbability for one. Furthermore, such semantic questions strike me as pseudo-intellectual.
I think you've just summed up the entire of 20th century analytic philosophy... the Stoics, Epirucreans, Cynics, Aristotle... these were the wise men. (Plato belongs to the other type who make stuff up and pretend to be profound... at least Aristotle made significant contributions to ethics and politics, Plato just founded proto-fascism lol)
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pjm600
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(Original post by MakeContact)
This is a question that an acquaintance of mine a few years above me got given in an Oxford philosophy interview. I thought it was an interesting question, so I asked some of my friends what they thought, and got some interesting responses. So now, I'm bringing it here

If a man is shot in Texas on Monday morning, and is flown by air ambulance to New Hampshire, where he dies of his wounds in a hospital on Thursday, where does the killing take place?

I look forward to seeing your responses
It doesn't occur anywhere. Killing in the conventional sense implies sudden death.

The crime may have been murder, manslaughter or neither dependent on the attacker's intention and other factors.

However if the crime is murder, then the murder occurred in Texas as that is where the attacker's actions occurred, which lead to the death of the man.
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Mequa
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(Original post by DErasmus)
I think you've just summed up the entire of 20th century analytic philosophy... the Stoics, Epirucreans, Cynics, Aristotle... these were the wise men. (Plato belongs to the other type who make stuff up and pretend to be profound... at least Aristotle made significant contributions to ethics and politics, Plato just founded proto-fascism lol)
It's not even a modern criticism, the letters of Seneca contain similar critiques of the philosophy of his day as "word games". Here's one example of how Seneca satirised this kind of philosophy:

'Mouse' is a syllable. Now a mouse nibbles cheese; a syllable, therefore, nibbles cheese. There is concern that, if I am too careless, a book may gobble up the cheese.

I would agree, the Stoics (Seneca, Epictetus, etc.) and Epicureans (Epicurus, Lucretius, etc.) were about "real" philosophy, in the sense of "love of wisdom" and in a very practical way, not the kind of intellectual masturbation which often passes for it.

If anything, the academic heir to their kind of philosophy would be positive psychology.
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ellzbellz_
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(Original post by Mequa)
It's not even a modern criticism, the letters of Seneca contain similar critiques of the philosophy of his day as "word games". Here's one example of how Seneca satirised this kind of philosophy:



I would agree, the Stoics (Seneca, Epictetus, etc.) and Epicureans (Epicurus, Lucretius, etc.) were about "real" philosophy, in the sense of "love of wisdom" and in a very practical way, not the kind of intellectual masturbation which often passes for it.

If anything, the academic heir to their kind of philosophy would be positive psychology.
Very similar to the Socrates dilemma. Misuse of Leibniz's law, still baffles me how Descartes got so famous when he was so CRAP :P
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DErasmus
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(Original post by ellzbellz_)
Very similar to the Socrates dilemma. Misuse of Leibniz's law, still baffles me how Descartes got so famous when he was so CRAP :P
analytical geometry
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Nogoodsorgods
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They ask what could fairly be judged to be the bleeding obvious to see how people might expand on it as you would have to in an essay whether you think it necessary or not. They might like 'What ifs?' to poke holes in assumptions. Hey I don't say it's right rather than going with what's in the question and not bothering mentioning what's not...

'Killing' is a verb , the act of causing the death of someone. It arguably carries more connotations of deliberateness than 'killed' would. 'You killed him!' might suggest surprise at what could have been merely a manslaughter rather than premeditated murder.
But 'You were involved in the killing of him' makes it sound more like a premeditated plot (even tough it doesn't have to be). In this particular case we are not told whether the man was accidentally or deliberately shot. It is merely the choice of the word 'killing' that suggests deliberateness yet that does not necessarily have to be the case. If the man had been 'run over' instead of 'shot' perhaps we might have thought it more likely to have been accidental. To shoot someone you generally have to be holding something that is specifically designed to kill or injure. It might seem that I digress but the choice of the word 'killing' can, if you look at it one way, be regarded as important.

You only become fully, defiinitely, regarded as 'killed' when the moment of death arrives - which happened in New Hampshire in this case. For the 3 days that the victim was still alive, the consequences of what we later call the 'killing' might still be happening (and we can call those consequences themselves part of the killing if we like) but they have not yet been 'killed'- not if the medical team can have anything to do about it.

He died of his wounds but what if? What if the wound was actually relatively minor and a competent medical team should have easily been able to save him? What if he dies 'of his wounds', it is recorded, but the actuality is that the medical team knowingly left his wound completely open in a ward knowingly full of dangerous airborne particles? You might say 'Yes but if he hadn't been shot he wouldn't have been there in that position in the first place'. But would you blame someone who accidentally knocked out another person's tooth in a sports game when the injured person died due to clear negligence by the dentist who was supposed to be fixing the tooth?

The question is where did the 'killing' happen? Not 'where did the shot happen?' nor 'Where did the man die?' The answers to those are already evident in the question.

Three days elapse between the shot and the death.

Do most people assume that 'shot' must mean 'gunshot'? What if it is referring to a photo shoot? The man might have already had those wounds prior to the photo shoot. A magazine might have been taking photos of his injuries! We make an assumption if we think that the word 'shot' and the phrase 'dies of his wounds' are in any way linked except that they happened to the same person.

Even if it is a physical injury kind of shot, it does not necessarily have to be a lead bullet or from a gun.
But I might be tempted to digress too much here. If it was a physical injury kind of shot and if it caused the wounds then it doesn't matter what he was shot with.

If we assume that it is a gun shot and that the gun shot caused those wounds and that the medical team were not so incompetent that it was their actions that caused the fatal harm to the inside of his wound then it would be fair to say that the killing happened in Texas. That's where the action of causing the wound happened. When we say that someone has died of their wounds we do not imply in that that the victim's body has betrayed them in any particular way. It's not like we think that the victim's immune system of it's own free will thought 'Nah f*** him'. So, unless there is other compelling evidence, we do not think that any aspect of the 'killing ' happened in New Hampshire. It happened in Texas.
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