Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Action and Value in Criminal Law$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stephen Shute, John Gardner, and Jeremy Horder

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198258063

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198258063.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 April 2021

On What’s Intentionally Done

On What’s Intentionally Done

(p.54) (p.55) On What’s Intentionally Done
Action and Value in Criminal Law


Oxford University Press

This chapter raises the question of how far some recent philosophy of action assists in explicating the moral psychological notions that are of concern in jurisprudence. The focus of the overall argument is on a distinction used by Antony Duff in his Intention, Agency and Criminal Liability — a distinction, Duff says, between ‘a broader and a narrower conception of intention’. It is doubtful that the distinction can do the work that Duff wants it to. Duff rests as much upon it as he does only because of a certain optimism: he hopes that conceptual analysis of intention may reveal what many of the interesting questions about mens rea really turn on, and so deliver the goods for the criminal lawyer. But this hope is vain. The chapter begins with some basic philosophy of action. A presentation of an account of actions which highlights some essential conceptual connections, and which introduces the concept of attempt into the framework, can provide a setting for a clear view of Duff's distinction. Exposition of this material takes up the first part of the chapter. This is brought into relation with issues in criminal liability in the second part, where its connection with the notions of actus reus and mens rea is shown. The third part explains and argues for the view taken of Duff's distinction, which differs from his. The remainder of the chapter considers how far an understanding of the concept of intention can take the criminal lawyer.

Keywords:   philosophy of action, jurisprudence, Antony Duff, intention, criminal liability, actus reus, mens rea

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .