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Sophie's Choice
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
2011 (English)In: Ethics at the cinema / [ed] Ward E. Jones and Samantha Vice, New York: Oxford University Press , 2011, 232-247 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The film Sophie's Choice has been seen to represent in a vivid manner how a human being in extreme circumstances is faced with a true moral dilemma. This interpretation is questioned in the present paper. It is argued that the best way of making philosophical sense of Sophie's choice is to see it as a case of blameful right-doing, rather than a dilemma. By doing, in her situation, the right thing, or at least not clearly doing anything wrong, Sophie exhibits a trait of character we do not expect to find in a good mother. She was in a situation where a good parent is not supposed to be able to do the right thing, and yet she does this. Even if we cannot fully explain it, her choice to commit suicide, rather than becoming a parent once again, makes sense when viewed from her own subjective perspective and given her personality as we know it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Oxford University Press , 2011. 232-247 p.
Keyword [en]
Sophie's Choice; dilemmas; the Sanctity-of-Life Doctrine; blameful right-doing; consequentialism
National Category
Research subject
Practical Philosophy
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-10209DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195320398.003.0011ISBN: 0-19-532040-9ISBN: 9780195320398OAI: diva2:176728
Available from: 2009-01-07 Created: 2009-01-07 Last updated: 2011-05-23Bibliographically approved

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Tännsjö, Torbjörn
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