Harm to Others / Edition 1

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The first volume in Joel Feinberg's four-volume series "The Moral Limits of the Criminal Law, Harm to Others" focuses on the "harm principle," the commonsense view that prevention of harm to persons other than the perpetrator is a legitimate purpose of coercive legislation. Feinberg presents a detailed analysis of the concept and definition of harm and applies it to a host of practical and theoretical issues, showing how the harm principle must be interpreted if it is to be a plausible guide to the lawmaker.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Joel Feinberg is a political and social philosopher of major importance....Virtually everyone who has written about legal and moral responsibility during the past fifteen years owes him a significant debt." —Harvard Law Review

"Illuminates and advances the discussion of all the issues it touches. It is certainly a major contribution that will require consideration for years to come." —Law and Philosophy

"Feinberg's treatment of these issues is probably as thorough, clear, and sophisticated as any that exist. The book is superbly and engagingly written and filled with good sense. It is illuminating not only of problems of philosophical analysis and normative theory, but also of more concrete policy issues....An extremely useful book. The four volumes together will doubtless comprise the most impressive treatment of their topic ever achieved." —Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

"An extremely useful book. Many important topics are discussed carefully, sensibly, and with erudition. The four volumes together will doubtless comprise the most impressive treatment of the topic ever achieved."—Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195046649
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/5/1987
  • Series: Moral Limits of the Criminal Law Series, #1
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

General Introduction: The Basic Question of the Book
* The Concept of Moral Legitimacy
• The Idea of a Liberty-Limiting Prinviple
• Commonly Proposed Liberty-Limiting Principles
• Liberalism
• Methodology
• Primary and Derrivative Crimes
• Alternatives to the Criminal Law
• Skepticism
I Harms as Setbacks to Interest: Meaning of "Harm"
* Welfare Interests and Ulterior Interests
• Interests and Wants
• Harms, Hurts, and Offenses
• The Manner in which Acts and Other Events Affect Interests When They Do Harm
• The Concept of an Interest Network
• Legally Protectable Interests *
II Puzzling Cases: Moral Harm
* Other-Regarding Interests and Vicarious Harms
• Death and Posthumous Harms
• Surviving Interests
• The Proper Subject of Surviving Interests
• Doomed Interest and the Dating of Harm
• A Note on Posthumous Wrongs
• Birth and Prenatal Harms *
III Harming as Wronging: The Verbal Forms: To Harm and to Wrong
* Harming and Injuring
• Moral Indefensibility
• Harming as Right-Violating
• Harm and Consent: the Volenti maxim
• The Concept of a Victim
• The "Casual Component" in Harming *
IV Failing to Prevent Harm: East Rescue and the Bad Samaritan
* The Confusion of Active Aid with Gratuitous Benefit
• Lord macauley's Line-Drawing Problem
• Omissions an Other Inactions
• Are Legal Duties to Rescue Undue Interference with Liberty?
• The Moral Significance of Causation
• The Consequences of Omissions
• The Exclusion of Causally Irrelevant Necessary Conditions
• Summary *
V Assessing and Comparing Harms: Mediating Maxims for the Application of the Harm Principle
* The Magnitude of the Harm
• The Probability of the Harm
• Aggregative Harms
• Statistical Discrimination and the Net Reductiom of Harm
• The Relative Importance of the Harm
• The Interest in Liberty on the Scales
• Summary of Restrictions on the Harm Principle *
VI Fairly Imputing Harms: Comparative Interests
* Harm to Public Interests
• Accumulative Harms
• Environmental Pollution as a Public Accumulative Harm
• Imitative Harms
• Summary of Additional Restrictions to the Harm Principle *
• Index

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