Intending Harm

Shelly Kagan

in The Limits of Morality

Published in print April 1991 | ISBN: 9780198239161
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597848 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ethics Series

 Intending Harm

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The second way to characterize a constraint against harm is as a constraint against intending harm. This presupposes a distinction between harm that is intended as a means or an end, and harm that is merely foreseen as an unintended side effect. We can again provide some intuitive support for this distinction – in terms of either the idea of using someone or the idea of aiming at evil – but here too the distinction ends up sorting cases in ways that are intuitively unattractive. And once again, attempts to defend the relevance of the distinction are ultimately unsuccessful, as are attempts to show that the distinction would support a constraint.

Keywords: constraints; double‐effect; due proportion; harm; intending harm; self‐defence

Chapter.  24505 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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