Paul Ramsey and the Rule of Double Effect

Journal of Religious Ethics 15 (1):59 - 71 (1987)
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Paul Ramsey has argued that the rule of double effect is morally significant because of the existence of indeterminate choices between incommensurable values. I interpret his argument as the following disjunctive syllogism. There are two sorts of principles we can appeal to in dealing with indeterminate choices: the rule of double effect and a commensurate reason principle. The second does not work, so we are left with the first. I respond, first, that this argument commits the fallacy of bifurcation and second, that for all Ramsey has shown, and surprisingly, a commensurate reason principle can deal with indeterminate choices.



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Doctrine of double effect.Alison McIntyre - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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