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Two distinctions that do make a difference: the action-omission distinction and the principle of double effect

Chappell, Timothy (2002). Two distinctions that do make a difference: the action-omission distinction and the principle of double effect. Philosophy, 77(2) pp. 211–234.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0031819102000256
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Abstract

Some performances that agents perform are more fully deserving of the name “actions” than others. Some performances are paradigm actions; some performances are not actions at all; many performances fall at intermediate points on a spectrum running from paradigm actions to outright non-actions. In brief, and with apologies for the neologism, there are degrees of actionhood.

Again, agents are more responsible for some of their performances than for others. Some performances are paradigms of agent-responsibility; for some performances, agents are not responsible at all; for many performances, the agent’s responsibility falls at some intermediate point on a spectrum running from paradigm responsibility to outright non-responsibility. In brief, there are degrees of responsibility.
Now degrees of actionhood explain degrees of responsibility; and AOD and PDE point us to cases where the degree of actionhood is lower. This is why it is reasonable to think that they also point us to cases where the degree of responsibility is lower.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2002 The Royal Institute of Philosophy
ISSN: 1469-817X
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Philosophy
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 40449
Depositing User: Sophie Grace Chappell
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2014 09:58
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2019 08:14
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/40449
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