Self-Defence Against Multiple Threats

in Journal of Moral Philosophy
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If a threat (or threatener) is liable to be defensively killed, there is a defeasible justification for killing her. On certain prevailing assumptions about liability, which I accept, there are liability justifications for killing any number of minimally responsible threats, each of whom would otherwise kill a single non-responsible victim. Absent harms to third parties, these justifications appear, counter-intuitively, to be undefeated. I argue that this counter-intuitive appearance is deceptive.

Self-Defence Against Multiple Threats

in Journal of Moral Philosophy

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References

1

Jeff McMahanKilling in War (Oxford: Oxford University Press2009) p. 21.

3

McMahan (2009) pp. 8–14.

5

McMahan (2009) p. 9.

7

McMahan (2009) pp. 20–21.

9

McMahan“Duty, Obedience, Desert, and Proportionality in War: A Response,” Ethics Vol. 22 No. 1 (October 2011) p. 154.

10

McMahan (2014). McMahan’s current view that the 20-year-old is not liable diverges from his 2011 view which is that the 20-year-old is liable but the liability justification is overridden (McMahan [2011] p. 154).

12

McMahan (2009) p. 166.

13

McMahan (2009) p. 177.

16

McMahan (2014).

17

McMahan (2014).

18

McMahan (2014). McMahan neither rejects nor endorses this claim.

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