Oct 9, 2011

"Mixed Actions and Double Effect"

In March I wrote a short post here tracing the history of double effect back through Augustine, Proclus, and Aristotle.

In particular, I mentioned that Aristotle's discussion of mixed actions contains some seminal aspects of double effect. Not being an Aristotle scholar, I didn't pursue this suggestion further, but I see now that Michael Pakaluk has published an article called "Mixed Actions and Double Effect" that presents a thorough look at the question.

The article appears in a volume entitled Moral Psychology and Human Action in Aristotle (OUP, 2011), edited by Pakaluk and Giles Pearson.

This is one of the only pieces I am aware of that makes a serious attempt to understand the origins of double effect prior to Aquinas.


  1. It predates Aquinas? You mean you didn't invent it?!?!?!?!

  2. Unfortunately not, though Frances Kamm did 'invent' the doctrine of triple effect. I believe higher n-tuple effects are still up for grabs.

  3. Hi Matt,

    We are not alone, then!

    I haven't read this yet. Would you be so kind as to send it to me if you have it? Much appreciated!


  4. this is really something that is hard to discuss and understand.