The Restricting Claims Principle Revisited: Grounding the Means Principle on the Agent–Patient Divide

Law and Philosophy 35 (2):211-247 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In an earlier article, I introduced the “restricting claims principle” to explain what is right about the means principle: the idea that it is harder to justify causing or allowing someone to suffer harm if using him as a means than if causing or allowing harm as a side effect. The RCP appeals to the idea that claims not to be harmed as a side effect push to restrict an agent from doing what she would otherwise be free to do for herself or others, given an appropriate account of her baseline freedom. Claims not to be harmed as a means are not in that way ‘‘restricting.’’ The original RCP relied on a counterfactual account of the agent’s baseline freedom: What could the agent permissibly do if the patient were not present? I argue here that that counterfactual baseline fails. The revised RCP relies instead on a ‘‘toolkit baseline’’: Do the patient claims concern the property the agent needs to use? This toolkit baseline reflects the different ways that agents relate to others: as fellow agents with whom they divide up the resources of the world, and as patients who might be affected by their actions. The toolkit baseline, resting on this agent-patient divide, provides a superior account of an agent’s baseline freedom, and a better account of the moral ground for the means principle.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,873

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Transcending the Means Principle.Alec Walen - 2014 - Law and Philosophy 33 (4):427-464.
Should the beneficiaries pay?Robert Huseby - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (2):1470594-13506366.
Should the beneficiaries pay?Robert Huseby - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (2):209-225.
Against Substitutive Harm.Daniel Schwartz - 2015 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (4):411-424.
Treating others merely as means.Samuel Kerstein - 2009 - Utilitas 21 (2):163-180.


Added to PP

46 (#354,001)

6 months
11 (#270,674)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?