Wrongdoing and Motivation
The traditional, but now unfashionable, interpretation of the means principle is that it is worse to harm a person intentionally than it is to harm them as a side-effect of one's actions. This account of the means principle regards the motivations of wrongdoers as important in determining whether or not an action is permissible. Many people now think that motivations cannot play a role in determining what is right or wrong. What is right or wrong is to be determined by the effects of the actions on others, and not by the motivations of the person doing the action. It is outwardly that we ought to look when deciding what to do, they claim, rather than inwardly. Chapter 7 defends a version of the traditional interpretation against this objection. It is argued that motivations with which an action is done are central to its permissibility.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.