The history of double‐effect reasoning

T. A. Cavanaugh

in Double-Effect Reasoning

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780199272198
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604157 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Theological Ethics

The history of double‐effect reasoning

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This chapter presents the history of DER, considering Aquinas’s originating account and closely tracing the development of double effect through subsequent moralists up to the 19th century Jesuit J.P. Gury, who proposed the standard modern version. Over the six centuries separating Aquinas and Gury, ethicists expanded the number of cases considered by DER and further articulated its grounds in action theory, arriving at double-effect criteria as generally applicable to relevant cases. These criteria, their import, order, relation to one another, necessity, and sufficiency are analyzed, and revisions are proposed.

Keywords: Antoninus; Aquinas; Cajetan; double effect; foresight; Gury; homicide; intention; John of St. Thomas; Pascal

Chapter.  10422 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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