"Did the Bills Harm Tom Brady?" - Overview of Temporal Comparative Account of Harm

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Harm is a concept in philosophy that has been able to elude definition. Many attempts have been made to formulate a definition of harm, however they have all been futile. This has led many to question if it is even possible to define harm, or if we really even need a definition of harm? My answer to both of these questions is yes, harm is something that is worth caring about and has many practical implications in society today. The theories of harm that have been the closest thus far have been comparative accounts of harm, which compare different states of the agent undergoing the harm. The most common of these comparative accounts has been the counterfactual comparative account of harm. This approach has faced many problems like preemption, overdetermination, and omission. I argue the comparative account of harm is correct, but the wrong comparison is being made. Instead of a counterfactual comparison we should make a temporal comparison, and evaluate whether or not the agent has become worse off than he or she was before the harming event occurred. First I will use Bradley’s model to sketch a brief definition checklist of harm. I will then briefly evaluate a general counterfactual theory of harm and illustrate why it falls short. Next I will pose the temporal comparative account of harm , and explain how it gets around the counterexamples that tripped up the counterfactual approach. Finally I will present some objections to TCA, and try to respond to them



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