Philosophical Studies

, Volume 134, Issue 2, pp 103–110 | Cite as

A Note on Intention and the Doctrine of Double Effect

  • Neil Francis Delaney


The purpose of this note is to tidy up some matters concerning ascriptions of intention and the employment of the doctrine of double effect (henceforth DDE). I first argue that Jonathan Bennett’s efforts to show that DDE is a foolish doctrine are unsatisfactory. I then consider a puzzle of Mark Johnston’s that seems to pose a problem for the defender of DDE. I turn to possible solutions to the puzzle, criticize one, and then offer the one I find most appealing. I then show how my proposal for employing DDE enables it to make some distinctions between courses of conduct without issuing foolish pronouncements about moral permissibility.


Action Plan Reasonable Inference Direct Intention Nuclear Device Civilian Death 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyGeorgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA

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