A Robust Defence of the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing

Utilitas 24 (1):63-81 (2012)
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Philosophers debate over the truth of the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing, the thesis that there is a morally significant difference between doing harm and merely allowing harm to happen. Deontologists tend to accept this doctrine, whereas consequentialists tend to reject it. A robust defence of this doctrine would require a conceptual distinction between doing and allowing that both matches our ordinary use of the concepts in a wide range of cases and enables a justification for the alleged moral difference. In this article, I argue not only that a robust defence of this doctrine is available, but also that it is available within a consequentialist framework

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Xiaofei Liu
Wuhan University


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