Harm is a moral and legal concept.
Bernard Gert construes harms as any of the following:
- 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 . . .".
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Famous quotes containing the word harm:
“Our repentances are generally not so much a concern and remorse for the harm we have done, as a fear of the harm we may have brought upon ourselves.”
—François, Duc De La Rochefoucauld (16131680)
“If there is no harm in asking, why guilt and fear when we do so?”
—Mason Cooley (b. 1927)
“There is no truer cause of unhappiness amongst men than, where naturally expecting charity and benevolence, they receive harm and vexation.”
—François Rabelais (14941553)