Deconstructing the doctrine of double effect

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 3 (2):195-207 (2000)
This paper examines the doctrine of double effect as it is typically applied. The difficulty of distinguishing between what we intend and what we foresee is highlighted. In particular, Warren Quinn's articulation of that distinction is examined and criticised. It is then proposed that the only credible way that we can be said to foresee that a harm will result and mean something other than that we intend it to result, is if we are not certain that that harm will result. The ramifications of this are explored. The paper concludes with a moral evaluation of a variety of cases that have harmful outcomes. It is recommended both that we abandon the doctrine of double effect and that we cease to describe cases with harmful outcomes in a dishonest way.
Keywords doctrine of double effect  foresight  harm  intention  killing  Warren Quinn
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1009997225961
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

97 ( #32,845 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #147,227 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.