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Doing and Allowing Harm$
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Fiona Woollard

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199683642

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199683642.001.0001

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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: 19 September 2021

Substantial Facts

Substantial Facts

(p.36) 3 Substantial Facts
Doing and Allowing Harm

Fiona Woollard

Oxford University Press

This chapter continues the analysis of the doing/allowing distinction by exploring what makes a fact substantial. A fact will count as substantial if it has some feature that makes it more than a mere background condition. Three features that can make a fact substantial are discussed: being a positive fact about a relevant framework; being scalar positive relative to some natural scale; being contrary to the normal presuppositions (the relatively stable set of shared background assumptions made in discussion/reasoning). The discussion of the positive/negative distinction draws on the work of Jonathan Bennett. The author also shows that an account of the action/inaction distinction follows from this analysis.

Keywords:   distinction between doing and allowing, action/inaction, substantial facts, positive/negative distinction, Jonathan Bennett

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