Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Volume 57, Issue 4, December 1997

Julia Driver
Pages 851-870

The Ethics of Intervention

This essay explores the obligations that may arise from benevolently intended interventions that go awry. The author argues that even when the intervening agent has acted with good intentions and in a non-negligent manner, she may be required to continue aid in cases where her initial intervention failed. This is surprising because it means that persons who perform supererogatory acts run the risk of incurring additional heavy obligations through no fault of their own. The author also considers deflationary accounts that run counter to her own analysis.