Defending Defensive Killing: Reply to Barry, McMahan, Ferzan, Renzo, and Haque

In: Journal of Moral Philosophy
Helen Frowe Stockholm University,

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This article responds to objections to the account of permissible harming developed in Defensive Killing, as raised by Christian Barry, Jeff McMahan, Kimberly Ferzan, Massimo Renzo and Adil Ahmad Haque. Each paper deserves much more attention than I can give it here. I focus on Barry’s important observations regarding the liability to defensive harm of those who fail to rescue. In response to McMahan, I grant some of McMahan’s objections to my rejection of the moral equivalence of threats and bystanders, but reject his analysis of my Shield cases. I welcome much of Ferzan’s development of my account of ‘futile’ defence, but offer some concerns regarding her own view of when honour can be appropriately defended. I argue that Renzo’s objections to my account of bloodless invasions are unpersuasive, and identify some problems with Renzo’s own view. Finally, I defend my account of civilian liability against Adil Haque’s critique.

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