Volume 36, Issue 4, October 2010
Scanlon on the Doctrine of Double Effect
In recent work, T.M. Scanlon has unsuccessfully challenged the doctrine of double effect (DDE). First, comparing actions reflecting faulty moral deliberations and involving merely foreseen harm with actions reflecting less faulty moral deliberations involving intended harm suggests that proponents of DDE do not confuse the critical and the deliberative uses of moral principles. Second, Scanlon submits that it is odd to say to a deliberating agent that the permissibility of the actions she ponders depends on the intention with which she will act. I argue that this can be explained without appeal to the claim that intentions are irrelevant to permissibility.