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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 75, Issue 4, Fall 2001

Neil Delaney
Pages 561-583
DOI: 10.5840/acpq200175441

To Double Business Bound
Reflections on the Doctrine of Double Effect

This paper has two aims. First, I explore the scope and limitations of the doctrine of double effect (DOE) by focusing specifically on the notion of "effect classification." Turning my attention to some hard cases, I argue that the DOE has to be supplemented by additional principles that specify how effects are to be discriminated from one another and how the various aspects of the relevant actions are to be classified as intended or simply foreseen. Secondly, I draw some general lessons from this specific investigation of the ODE bearing on the way in which moral principles of this sort can be seen to function helpfully in moral reflection.

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