Utilitas 29 (4):453-473 (2017)

Authors
Thomas Sinclair
Oxford University
Abstract
Most people believe that the rights of others sometimes require us to act in ways that have even substantially sub-optimal outcomes, as viewed from an axiological perspective that ranks outcomes objectively. Bringing about the optimal outcome, contrary to such a requirement, is an ‘optimific wronging’. It is less clear, however, that we are required to prevent optimific wrongings. Perhaps the value of the outcome, combined with the relative weakness of prohibitions on allowing harm as compared to those against doing harm, justifies non-intervention. In this article, I consider arguments to that effect, focusing on a recent paper in this journal by Andreas Mogensen. I argue that while we do not, in general, do wrong by failing to prevent optimific wrongings, we are nevertheless not permitted, in key cases, to refrain from intervening on the grounds that not intervening will secure the optimal outcome.
Keywords Non-consequentialism  Trolley problem  Consequentialism  Doctrine of Double Effect  Doctrine of Doing and Allowing
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0953820816000388
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,355
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

A Defense of Abortion.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):47-66.
The View from Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 92 (2):280-281.
Killer Robots.Robert Sparrow - 2007 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (1):62–77.
A Right to Do Wrong.Jeremy Waldron - 1981 - Ethics 92 (1):21-39.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Optimific, Right, But Not Obligatory.R. Attfield - 1982 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 12 (2):317-320.
Optimific, Right, but Not Obligatory.R. Attfield - 1982 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 12 (2):317 - 320.
Must God Create the Best Possible World?Bruce R. Reichenbach - 1979 - International Philosophical Quarterly 19 (2):203-212.
Can We Wrong a Work of Art?Eoin O’Connell - 2015 - Evental Aesthetics 4 (2):116-137.
Promising‐Part 1.Ulrike Heuer - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (12):832-841.
Promising-Part 1.Ulrike Heuer - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (12):832-841.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-06-26

Total views
44 ( #259,254 of 2,519,597 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #271,073 of 2,519,597 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes