more from Thomas Mautner

Single Idea 6897

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

Full Idea

It is suggested the double effect act requires 1) the act is good, 2) the bad effect is not intended, and is avoided if possible, 3) the bad effect doesn't cause the good result, 4) the good must outweigh the bad side effect.

Gist of Idea

Double effect acts need goodness, unintended evil, good not caused by evil, and outweighing


Thomas Mautner (Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy [1996], p.151)

Book Reference

Mautner,Thomas: 'Dictionary of Philosophy' [Penguin 1997], p.151

A Reaction

It is suggested that these won't work for permissibility of an action, but they might be appropriate for blameworthiness. Personally I am rather impressed by the four-part framework here, whatever nitpicking objections others may have found.