Abstract

I defend the doctrine of double effect and a so‐called ‘strict’ definition of intention: A intends an effect if and only if A has it as an end or believes that it is a state of affairs in the causal sequence that will result in A's end. Following Kamm's proposed ‘doctrine of triple effect’, I distinguish an intended effect from an effect that motivates an action, and show that this distinction is morally significant. I use several contrived cases as illustrations, but my position does not depend on intuitive judgements about them. Instead, it follows from the view that the moral permissibility of an action depends at least partly on how it forms the agent's character. I also respond to some objections presented by Harris, Bennett, McIntyre, Thomson and Scanlon to the doctrine of double effect.

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