Seminar: Professor Ralph Wedgwood, "Degrees of Double Effect"

Past Event

13 May 2009, 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Professor Ralph Wedgwood, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford

Abstract: The goal of this paper is to articulate and defend a version of the Doctrine of Double Effect (DDE). This version of the DDE does not imply any absolute prohibitions or side-constraints: it implies that it is, other things equal, worse to bring about a bad consequence through executing an intention to bring about that consequence than to bring it about while merely foreseeing (but not intending) that this consequence will result. After articulating this version of the DDE, some considerations are presented that provide some prima facie support for it. Finally, it is argued that the DDE is not undermined by the objections that have recently been developed by T. M. Scanlon and Judith Thomson -- since those objections are all in one way or another based on misinterpretations of the DDE.