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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Archival date: 2015-09-26
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Change in View.Harman, Gilbert
Intention.Anscombe, G. E. M.

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2009-01-28

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