Skip Content

'We don't torture': Moral resolve and the doctrine of double effect

Events • Lecture

'We don’t torture' announced both Bush and Obama. But what Bush meant as a statement of fact, Obama meant as a resolution. Exploring this example, this lecture examined how moral resolutions work to overcome the rationalizations that temptation engenders. This in turn shone light on the nature of our moral concepts. Resolutions are typically framed using intentional notions (torture; murder; theft). Reflection on the reasons for this reveals what is right, and what is wrong, about the doctrine of double effect.

Professor Richard Holton

Richard Holton
 was educated at Oxford and Princeton, and has taught in many places, most recently MIT and Cambridge. He is the author of Willing, Wanting Waiting (OUP 2009). His current work is mainly in philosophy of mind, moral psychology and the philosophy of law.

Chaired by: Professor Jane Heal FBA, University of Cambridge

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.