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Double-Effect Reasoning – Doing Good and Avoiding Evil - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Double-Effect Reasoning: Doing Good and Avoiding Evil

T. A. Cavanaugh


Consequentialists oppose while absolutists and deontologists rely upon double-effect reasoning (DER) to address hard cases in which good inextricably binds with evil (such as destroying a legitimate military target while concomitantly and foreseeably killing innocents). This book addresses the history, application, and philosophical controversy concerning DER. It traces both the origin of DER in the thought of Aquinas and its development by subsequent ethicists. Considering consequentialist criticisms, proportionalism, and recent revisions of double effect, the book argues at length for the re ... More

Keywords: absolutism, Aquinas, consequences, consequentialism, double-effect reasoning, ethical relevance, ethics, euthanasia, exceptionless moral norms, foresight

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780199272198
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006 DOI:10.1093/0199272190.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

T. A. Cavanaugh, author
Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of San Francisco
Author Webpage