If it Can't be Done Intentionally Can it be Tried?

Gideon Yaffe

in Attempts

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590667
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595530 | DOI:
If it Can't be Done Intentionally Can it be Tried?

Show Summary Details


Some crimes cannot be completed with intent: a person who intends to kill has not committed a reckless or negligent homicide, but the distinct crime of intentional homicide. Can such crimes be attempted? The universal answer among courts and commentators is “no”. This chapter shows that this is mistaken by rejecting the two most appealing arguments for the consensus view. Thus, there's no reason to deny that crimes that cannot be completed with intent can nonetheless be attempted. To attempt such a crime, a person must intend to see to it that, later, he will not be acting intentionally, but recklessly or negligently instead. Hence, in contrast to most, attempts of crimes of this sort require an intention that commits one to having the mental states involved in completion. It is suggested that, in fact, some real examples are best understood as instances of attempts of this sort.

Keywords: attempt; intention; recklessness; negligence; mental states

Chapter.  10414 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.