On disproportionate force and fighting in vain

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (2):235-261 (2011)
Abstract
Two conditions guiding permissible use of force in self-defence are proportionality and success. According to the proportionality condition the means used to prevent an attack can be permissible only if they are proportional to the interest at stake.1 According to the success condition, otherwise impermissible acts can be justified under the right to self-defence only if they are likely to succeed in preventing the perceived threat.2 These requirements should not always be interpreted narrowly. Sometimes people are permitted to kill culpable aggressors in order to avoid a non-lethal harm. Sometimes people are permitted to take up arms to defend themselves against culpable aggressors they have little or no hope of ..
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