The Meaning of Harm Derived from Interests

Jethro K. Lieberman

in Liberalism Undressed

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199919840
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980376 | DOI:
The Meaning of Harm Derived from Interests

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Taking up the question of defining harm, this chapter looks at the conception proposed by Joel Feinberg, that harm is the wrongful setback to a person’s interest. The chapter examines each of these elements and concludes that for many purposes outside the criminal law, an injury need not be wrongful to constitute a harm. Such injuries occur commonly within the class of accumulative and aggregative harms, in which a strong version of the harm principle comes into play. The chapter also points to a class of harmless wrongdoing of which the state may take cognizance.

Keywords: accumulative harms; aggregative harms; causation; Feinberg; harm principle; harmless wrongdoing; interest; risk; rules of the road; wrongful conception

Chapter.  11556 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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