Three Cheers for Double Effect

Abstract
The doctrine of double effect, together with other moral principles that appeal to the intentions of moral agents, has come under attack from many directions in recent years, as have a variety of rationales that have been given in favor of it. In this paper, our aim is to develop, defend, and provide a new theoretical rationale for a secular version of the doctrine. Following Quinn (1989), we distinguish between Harmful Direct Agency and Harmful Indirect Agency. We propose the following version of the doctrine: that in cases in which harm must come to some in order to achieve a good (and is the least costly of possible harms necessary), the agent foresees the harm, and all other things are equal, a stronger case is needed to justify Harmful Direct Agency than to justify Harmful Indirect Agency. We distinguish between two Kantian rationales that might be given for the doctrine, a “dependent right” rationale, defended by Quinn, and an “independent right” rationale, which we defend. We argue that the doctrine and the “independent right” rationale for it are not vulnerable to counterexamples or counterproposals, and conclude by drawing implications for the larger debate over whether agents' intentions are in any way relevant to permissibility and obligation
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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: 11,493
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

View all 27 references

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Richard Hull (2000). Deconstructing the Doctrine of Double Effect. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 3 (2):195-207.
Jeff McMahan (1994). Revising the Doctrine of Double Effect. Journal of Applied Philosophy 11 (2):201-212.
Donald B. Marquis (1991). Four Versions of Double Effect. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 16 (5):515-544.
John Zeis (2004). Killing Innocents and the Doctrine of Double Effect. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 78:133-144.
Sophia Reibetanz (1998). A Problem for the Doctrine of Double Effect. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (2):217–223.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-12-08

Total downloads

30 ( #59,778 of 1,102,514 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

13 ( #14,820 of 1,102,514 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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