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Reason, Morality, and LawThe Philosophy of John Finnis$
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John Keown and Robert P. George

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675500

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675500.001.0001

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Intention and Side Effects

Intention and Side Effects

John Finnis and Elizabeth Anscombe*

Chapter:
(p.92) (p.93) 6 Intention and Side Effects
Source:
Reason, Morality, and Law
Author(s):

Gormally Luke

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675500.003.0007

This chapter argues that John Finnis is mistaken in thinking that his understanding of the scope of intention has been faithful to the conception of intentional action developed in Elizabeth Anscombe's monograph Intention; and that Anscombe herself, in later ethical analyses, effectively abandoned her original conception of intentional action. The argument focuses on two types of case: craniotomy and the stuck potholer. It contends that it is Finnis not Anscombe who has overlooked the lessons of Intention for the evaluation of the cases in treating as side effects what she treats as intended. Finnis employs an unduly narrow conception of the scope of intention. Fidelity to Anscombe's conception would, however, raise difficulties for his ethical theory.

Keywords:   act analysis, Elizabeth Anscombe, craniotomy, immediate effects, practical knowledge, intention, scope, truthfulness, declarations, John Finnis

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