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Readers of Ethics Etc, especially participants of the Kamm Reading Group, might be interested in a paper of mine entitled “The Loop Case and Kamm’s Doctrine of Triple Effect,” which has recently been accepted for publication in Philosophical Studies. Participants of the Kamm Reading Group are gratefully acknowledged in the paper. The paper can be found here, and an abstract of the paper is as follows:

Judith Jarvis Thomson’s Loop Case is particularly significant in normative ethics because it calls into question the validity of the intuitively plausible Doctrine of Double Effect, according to which there is a significant difference between harm that is intended and harm that is merely foreseen and not intended. Recently, Frances Kamm has argued that what she calls the Doctrine of Triple Effect (DTE), which draws a distinction between acting because-of and acting in-order-to, can account for our judgment about the Loop Case. In this paper, I first argue that even if the distinction drawn by DTE can be sustained, it does not seem to apply to the Loop Case. Moreover, I question whether this distinction has any normative significance. The upshot is that I am skeptical that DTE can explain our judgment about the Loop Case.

Comments very much welcomed.


  1. 1. Posted by Thom Brooks | July 10, 2008 10:06 am

    Many congrats on the paper! It looks terrific.

  2. 2. Posted by S. Matthew Liao | July 10, 2008 2:49 pm

    Thanks, Thom!

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