more from Michael Walzer

Single Idea 23578

[catalogued under 20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 5. Action Dilemmas / b. Double Effect]

Full Idea

Double effect is defensible, I want to argue, only when the two outcomes are the product of a double intention - that 'good' be achieved, and that the foreseeable evil be reduced as far as possible.

Gist of Idea

Double Effect needs a double intention - to achieve the good, and minimise the evil


Michael Walzer (Just and Unjust Wars [1977], 09)

Book Reference

Walzer,Michael: 'Just and Unjust Wars' [Penguin 1984], p.155

A Reaction

A good proposal, I think. We have to accept evil side effects sometimes, but it is immoral to pursue some good 'whatever the cost'.