Harm: The counterfactual comparative account, the omission and pre-emption problems, and well-being

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
The concept of “harm” is ubiquitous in moral theorising, and yet remains poorly defined. Bradley suggests that the counterfactual comparative account of harm is the most plausible account currently available, but also argues that it is fatally flawed, since it falters on the omission and pre-emption problems. Hanna attempts to defend the counterfactual comparative account of harm against both problems. In this paper, I argue that Hanna’s defence fails. I also show how his defence highlights the fact that both the omission and the pre-emption problems have the same root cause – the inability of the counterfactual comparative account of harm to allow for our implicit considerations regarding well-being when assessing harm. While its purported neutrality with regard to substantive theories of well-being is one of the reasons that this account is considered to be the most plausible on offer, I will argue that this neutrality is illusory.
Categories
PhilPapers/Archive ID
DEVHTC
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-03-15
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
A Theory of Conditionals.Stalnaker, Robert

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2018-03-15

Total views
187 ( #17,824 of 42,943 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
67 ( #8,870 of 42,943 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.