Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Harmful Beneficence

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Buy this article

$30.00+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

image of Journal of Moral Philosophy

Beneficence is usually regarded as adequate when it results in an actual benefit for a beneficiary and satisfies her self-chosen end. However, beneficence that satisfies these conditions can harm beneficiaries' free agency, particularly when they are robustly dependent on benefactors. First, the means that benefactors choose can have undesirable side-effects on resources that beneficiaries need for future free action. Second, benefactors may undermine beneficiaries' ability to freely deliberate and choose. It is therefore insufficient to satisfy someone's self-chosen ends. Instead, good beneficence depends on whether the benefactor avoids undue influence over a beneficiary's deliberation and whether the choice of means is compatible with the beneficiary's conception of her good. Consequently, benefactors must have substantial respect for a beneficiary's free agency and the practical competence to choose means that take into account the beneficiary's conception of her good and the wider set of circumstances that influence her life.


Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to email alerts
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Moral Philosophy — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation