Two Cheers for “Closeness”: Terror, Targeting and Double Effect

Philosophical Studies 137 (3):335-367 (2008)
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Abstract

Philosophers from Hart to Lewis, Johnston and Bennett have expressed various degrees of reservation concerning the doctrine of double effect. A common concern is that, with regard to many activities that double effect is traditionally thought to prohibit, what might at first look to be a directly intended bad effect is really, on closer examination, a directly intended neutral effect that is closely connected to a foreseen bad effect. This essay examines the extent to which the commonsense concept of intention supports a reasonably consistent and coherent application of double effect. Two important conclusions are these: (1) a number of traditionally proscribed activities involve a kind of “targeting” of innocents that can be taken to exhibit a direct intention to harm them; (2) a direct intention to harm need not involve a desire to harm in any ordinary sense of the latter expression.

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Neil Delaney
Brown University

References found in this work

Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Harvard University Press.
Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Change in View: Principles of Reasoning.Gilbert Harman - 1986 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Philosophical Papers.J. L. Austin - 1961 - Oxford University Press.

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