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    Harm and causation

    Northcott, Robert (2015) Harm and causation. Utilitas 27 (2), pp. 147-164. ISSN 0953-8208.

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    Abstract

    I propose an analysis of harm in terms of causation: harm is when a subject is caused to be worse off. The pay-off from this lies in the details. In particular, importing influential recent work from the causation literature yields a contrastive-counterfactual account. This enables us to incorporate harm’s multiple senses into a unified scheme, and to provide that scheme with theoretical ballast. It also enables us to respond effectively to previous criticisms of counterfactual accounts, as well as to sharpen criticisms of rival views.

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