Defending Civilians from Defensive Killing

In: Journal of Moral Philosophy
Adil Ahmad HaqueProfessor of Law, Rutgers Law School,

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Helen Frowe’s Defensive Killing is in many respects an excellent book, full of arguments that are original, interesting, important, and often persuasive. In other respects, the book is deeply unsettling, as it forcefully challenges the belief that killing ordinary civilians in armed conflict is a paradigmatic moral wrong. In particular, Frowe argues that civilians who make political, material, strategic, or financial contributions to an unjust war may lose their moral protection from intentional and collateral harm. On this point, Frowe’s arguments are original, interesting, and important but, thankfully, not persuasive.

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