instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


For my own future reference as much as anything else.

Based on the discussion found here, here's a list of the different sorts of cooperation with evil Catholic moral theology recognizes (he terms in red represent immoral forms of cooperation; the terms in blue represent forms of cooperation that may be moral):

Types of Cooperation
  • Formal: "a willing participation on the part of the cooperative agent in the sinful act of the principal agent"
  • Explicit Formal: the cooperative agent expresses his willingness
  • Implicit Formal: "even though the cooperator denies intending the wrongdoer's object, no other explanation can distinguish the cooperator's object from the wrongdoer's object"
  • Material: participation in a sinful act without sharing in the intent of the principal agent
  • Immediate Material: "the object of the moral act of the cooperator is indistinguishable from that of the principal agent;" considered morally equivalent to implicit formal cooperation
  • Mediate Material: "the moral object of the cooperator's act is not that of the wrongdoer's"
  • Proximate [Mediate] Material: the action of the cooperator is closely related to the action of the wrongdoer
  • Remote [Mediate] Material: the action of the cooperator is not closely related to the action of the wrongdoer
Mediate material cooperation is morally licit when there is a proportionate reason for cooperating. As I wrote below, the more proximate the cooperation, the stronger the reason must be to be proportionate.