The Evil of Refraining to Save: Liu on the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing

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Jacob Blair

Abstract

In a recent article, Xiaofei Liu seeks to defend, from the standpoint of consequentialism, the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing: DDA. While there are various conceptions of DDA, Liu understands it as the view that it is more difficult to justify doing harm than allowing harm. Liu argues that a typical harm doing involves the production of one more evil and one less good than a typical harm allowing. Thus, prima facie, it takes a greater amount of good to justify doing a certain harm than it does to justify allowing that same harm. In this reply, I argue that Liu fails to show, from within a consequentialist framework, that there is an asymmetry between the evils produced by doing and allowing harm. I conclude with some brief remarks on what may establish such an asymmetry.

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How to Cite
Blair, Jacob. 2017. “The Evil of Refraining to Save: Liu on the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing”. Diametros, no. 52 (June), 127-37. https://doi.org/10.13153/diam.52.2017.1063.
Section
Discussions
Author Biography

Jacob Blair, CSU East Bay

Jacob Blair, Ph.D.
Lecturer
CSU East Bay
Philosophy Dept.
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd
Hayward CA 94542 USA

E-mail: jacob.blair@csueastbay.edu

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