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What it means to suffer harm
Jurisprudence  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-11-03, DOI: 10.1080/20403313.2021.1990595
Yan Kai Zhou

ABSTRACT

In recent years, there has been a growing jurisprudential and philosophical literature on the concept of harm, in particular, what it means to suffer harm. This paper defends the most unpopular account of what it means to suffer harm, the temporal comparative account of harm (TCA). According to TCA, what it means to suffer harm just is for a person to come to be in a state in which they are worse off than they were before. My defence of the TCA proceeds as follows. Firstly, I explain why it is that one might find the TCA appealing to begin with. Then, I respond to three sets of concerns that have been levied against the TCA: (1) concerns about the sufficiency of historical worsenings for harm; (2) concerns about the necessity of historical worsenings for harm; and (3) concerns about the downstream consequences of adopting the TCA in general. If my arguments are successful, we ought to take the TCA much more seriously as a plausible account of what it means to suffer harm.