Two cheers for “closeness”: Terror, targeting and double effect

Philosophical Studies 137 (3):335 - 367 (2008)
Philosophers from Hart to Lewis, Johnston and Bennett have expressed various degrees of reservation concerning the doctrine of double effect. A common concern is that, with regard to many activities that double effect is traditionally thought to prohibit, what might at first look to be a directly intended bad effect is really, on closer examination, a directly intended neutral effect that is closely connected to a foreseen bad effect. This essay examines the extent to which the commonsense concept of intention supports a reasonably consistent and coherent application of double effect. Two important conclusions are these: (1) a number of traditionally proscribed activities involve a kind of “targeting” of innocents that can be taken to exhibit a direct intention to harm them; (2) a direct intention to harm need not involve a desire to harm in any ordinary sense of the latter expression.
Keywords Intention  Targeting  Desire  Double Effect  Bennett  Sellars
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DOI 10.2307/40208833
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PhilPapers Archive Neil Francis Delaney, Two cheers for “closeness”: Terror, targeting and double effect
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Michael Bratman (1987/1999). Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason. Center for the Study of Language and Information.

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