Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (3):453-479 (2017)

Authors
Alexander Sarch
University of Surrey
Abstract
American criminal law is committed to some version of the doctrine of double effect. In this paper, I defend a new variant of the agent-centered rationale for a version of DDE that is of particular relevance to the criminal law. In particular, I argue for a non-absolute version of DDE that concerns the relative culpability of intending a bad or wrongful state of affairs as opposed to bringing it about merely knowingly. My aim is to identify a particular feature of the former in virtue of which it is pro tanto more culpable than the latter. Providing an agent-centered argument of this kind for a culpability version of DDE, I argue, is an especially attractive route to take for those who are interested in vindicating the way the criminal law actually encodes DDE.
Keywords Doctrine of double effect  Culpability  Criminal law  Intention  Means principle  Treason
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DOI 10.1007/s11572-015-9380-3
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