Harm is a moral and legal concept.

Bernard Gert construes harms as any of the following:

  • pain
  • death
  • disability
  • loss of ability or freedom
  • loss of pleasure

Joel Feinberg gives an account of harms as setbacks to interests. He distinguishes welfare interests from ulterior interests. Hence on his view there are two kinds of harms.

Welfare interests are

interests in the continuance for a foreseeable interval of one's life, and the interests in one's own physical health and vigor, the integrity and normal functioning of one's body, the absence of absorbing pain and suffering or grotesque disfigurement, minimal intellectual acuity, emotional stability, the absence of groundless anxieties and resentments, the capacity to engage normally in social intercourse and to enjoy and maintain friendships, at least minimal income and financial security, a tolerable social and physical environment, and a certain amount of freedom from interference and coercion.

Ulterior interests are "a person's more ultimate goals and aspirations," such as "producing good novels or works of art, solving a crucial scientific problem, achieving high political office, successfully raising a family . . .".

Read more about Harm:  Sources

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... The ADC aims to control the harm caused by people and organisations that engage in or encourage discriminatory behaviour in our society ... works to promote those democratic and humane values that serve to prevent such harm ... The ADC's efforts at harm prevention and control involve four major kinds of activity which include gathering relevant information, supporting victims of ...
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... Limitations to freedom of speech may follow the "harm principle" or the "offense principle", for example in the case of pornography, or hate speech ... However, Mill also introduced what is known as the harm principle, in placing the following limitation on free expression "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a ... of preventing serious offense (as opposed to injury or harm) to persons other than the actor, and that it is probably a necessary means to that end." Hence Feinberg argues that the harm ...
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... A good friend and former Naval Academy classmate of Harm, and a great rival in the courts ... Sturgis and Harm play hoops and fix cars together ... Mac let it slip to him "That she was in love with him," (him meaning Harm) ...
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... + ius/iuris, " right"), such that many iniuriae involve physical harm and many actions inflicting physical harm constitute iniuria but neither set is a subset of the other ... For example, physical harm inflicted upon an aggressor by an innocent party acting in self-defense does not constitute iniuria unless the legal system in question regards it as disproportionate (e.g ... in civil or even criminal court even though they inflict no physical harm upon the person against whom they are directed ...

Famous quotes containing the word harm:

    When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine.
    Bible: Hebrew, Exodus 21:22.

    In the lack of judgment great harm arises, but one vote cast can set right a house.
    Aeschylus (525–456 B.C.)

    Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want.
    Joseph Wood Krutch (1893–1970)