Imperfect Aiding
Hanser (Matthew)
Source: Luper - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death, 2014, Chapter 18
Paper - Abstract

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Editor’s Introduction1

  1. Chapter 18 concerns the nature of the obligation not to let people die. More specifically, it concerns the reasons we have to aid those in distress.
  2. In this chapter Matthew Hanser explores the view that the duty to aid is imperfect, meaning roughly that "[i]t requires one to perform aiding actions from time to time, often enough, but it does not specify exactly when one must give aid, or whom one must aid, or how much aid one must give."
  3. To clarify the duty, Hanser distinguishes between reasons that have requiring force and reasons that have justificatory force. The duty to aid involves the latter – that some person is in need justifies us, and makes it permissible (but not obligatory) for us, to assist that person even though it means neglecting other responsibilities (such as a promise we made to meet a friend for dinner).
  4. However, if we encounter enough persons in need, the justificatory force of our reasons to assist increases, so "although these reasons are not individually requiring, we do have a duty to act in accordance with reasons of this kind from time to time."


Book Chapter, but pdf downloaded from Cambridge Core. Filed in zip with full book.

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "Luper (Steven) - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death: Introduction".

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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