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The Doctrine of Illicit Intentions

Alec D. Walen

Rutgers School of Law, Camden

January 22, 2006

Philosophy and Public Affairs, 2006

According to the Doctrine of Illicit Intentions, it is impermissible both to form and then to act on an illicit intention. An intention is illicit, roughly, if it causes the agent who has it to be, in a certain way, disposed to perform actions that are impermissible. If the range of actions an agent might be directed to perform by an intention includes impermissible actions, then it may be impermissible to form or act on that intention even if, in the end, the agent performs no action that is impermissible (other than forming and acting on an illicit intention itself).

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

Keywords: Intentions, Permissibility

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Date posted: January 25, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Walen, Alec D., The Doctrine of Illicit Intentions (January 22, 2006). Philosophy and Public Affairs, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1540916

Contact Information

Alec D. Walen (Contact Author)
Rutgers School of Law, Camden ( email )
217 N. 5th Street
Camden, NJ 08102-1203
United States
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