Chapter

Intention and Side Effects

John Finnis

in Intention and Identity

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580064
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729386 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580064.003.0011
Intention and Side Effects

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With a focus on English criminal law, particularly in terms of murder, as expounded at the highest level in recent decades, this chapter distinguishes in detail between intention and desire, and intention and foresight (or so-called ‘oblique intention’). The views of theorists such as Hobbes and Glanville Williams are critiqued. Various cases, actual and hypothetical, are considered in detail. Destroying a plane in order to kill a passenger is distinguished from destroying it to get cargo insurance moneys. Elizabeth Anscombe's discussion of ‘double effect’ and of the trapped cave-explorers is refuted. A reform of the definition of murder is proposed. An attempt is made to show why intention maters so much. An endnote considers operations to separate conjoined twins.

Keywords: Elizabeth Anscombe; Glanville Williams; Hobbes; intention; side effects; double effect; desire; foresight; criminal law; definition of murder

Chapter.  12569 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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