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  • Cited by 6
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Janzen, Greg 2016. A Critique of the Right Intention Condition as an Element ofJus ad Bellum. Journal of Military Ethics, Vol. 15, Issue. 1, p. 36.

    Archer, Alfred 2013. Supererogation and Intentions of the Agent. Philosophia, Vol. 41, Issue. 2, p. 447.

    Tesón, Fernando R. 2011. HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION: LOOSE ENDS. Journal of Military Ethics, Vol. 10, Issue. 3, p. 192.

    King, Peter J. 2008. No Plaything: Ethical Issues Concerning Child-pornography. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol. 11, Issue. 3, p. 327.

    Tesón, Fernando R. 2006. Eight Principles for Humanitarian Intervention1. Journal of Military Ethics, Vol. 5, Issue. 2, p. 93.

    Tesón, Fernando R. 2005. Ending Tyranny in Iraq. Ethics & International Affairs, Vol. 19, Issue. 02, p. 1.


Mill's Intentions and Motives

  • Michael Ridge (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 January 2009

One might have thought that any right-thinking utilitarian would hold that motives and intentions are morally on a par, as either might influence the consequences of one's actions. However, in a neglected passage of Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill claims that the lightness of an action depends ‘entirely upon the intention’ but does not at all depend upon the motive. In this paper I try to make sense of Mill's initially puzzling remarks about the relative importance of intentions and motives in a way that high-lights the importance of other elements of his moral philosophy and action theory.

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  • ISSN: 0953-8208
  • EISSN: 1741-6183
  • URL: /core/journals/utilitas
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