In his recent book Killing in War, McMahan develops a powerful argument for the view that soldiers on opposite sides of a conflict are not morally on a par once the war has started: whether they have the right to kill depends on the justness of their war. In line with just war theory in general, McMahan scrutinizes the ethics of killing the enemy. In this article, I accept McMahan's account, but bring it to bear on the entirely neglected, but (...) nevertheless interesting, issue of what the military call killings or, as I refer to such acts here, internecine war killings. I focus on the case of the soldier who is ordered by his officer, at gunpoint, to go into action or to kill innocent civilians, and who kills his officer in self-defence. I argue that, at the bar of McMahan's account of the right to kill in self-defence, the officer lacks a justification for attacking the soldier as a means of enforcing his order, and the soldier thus sometimes (but not always) has the right to kill his officer should the latter so act. (shrink)
Nous présentons une étude fondée sur un corpus de transcriptions de consultations médicales, dans le cadre d’un projet interdisciplinaire qui explore la question des inégalités sociales de santé. L’objet de cet article est de montrer comment, en tant que linguistes familiers du traitement outillé des corpus, nous avons choisi d’aborder ce matériau qui fait l’objet de questionnements disciplinaires complémentaires, et quels éléments de caractérisation spécifiques nous sommes en mesure d’apporter en réponse à une demande émanant de la sphère médicale.
Many believe that agent-centred considerations, unlike agent-neutral reasons, cannot show that victims have the right to kill their attackers in self-defence, let alone establish that rescuers have the right to come to their help. In this paper, I argue that the right to kill in self- or other-defence is best supported by a hybrid set of reasons. In particular, agent-centred considerations account for the plausible intuition that victims have a special stake, which other parties lack, in being to thwart the (...) attackers. That special stake plays an important part justifying victims' right to obtain help, and rescuers' right to give it. (shrink)
In his review of my book Whose Body is It Anyway, Wilkinson criticises the view (which I defend) that confiscating live body parts for the sake of the needy is (under some circumstances) a requirement of justice. Wilkinson makes the following three points: (a) the confiscation thesis is problematic on its own terms; (b) there is a way to justify coercive resource transfers without being committed to it; (c) the thesis rests on a highly questionable approach to the status of (...) the body. Wilkinson’s paper is challenging, and some of his points are well taken. On the whole, however, it does not constitute an insurmountable challenge for my thesis. (shrink)
In the prevailing liberal ethos, if there is one thing that is beyond the reach of others, it is our body in particular, and our person in general: our legal and political tradition is such that we have the right to deny others access to our person and body, even though doing so would harm those who need personal services from us, or body parts. However, we lack the right to use ourselves as we wish in order to raise income, (...) even though we do not necessarily harm others by doing so---even though we might in fact benefit them by doing so. -/- Cécile Fabre's aim in this book is to show that, according to the principles of distributive justice which inform most liberal democracies, both in practice and in theory, it should be exactly the other way around: that is, if it is true that we lack the right to withhold access to material resources from those who need them, we also lack the right to withhold access to our body from those who need it; but we do, under some circumstances, have the right to decide how to use it in order to raise income. More specifically, she argues in favour of the confiscation of body parts and personal services, as well as of the commercialization of organs, sex, and reproductive capacities. (shrink)
Liberal theorists of justice hardly ever study duties of Good Samaritanism. This is not to say that they regard a failure to be a Good Samaritan as morally acceptable: indeed, most of them think that it is morally wrong. But they tend not to think that it is morally wrong on the grounds that it constitutes a violation of a duty of justice. Rather, they condemn it as a failure to perform a duty of charity, or as a failure to (...) be appropriately altruistic. By contrast, they condemn as a violation of a duty of justice a failure to give to the poor the material resources they need. My aim, in this essay, is to show that if liberals are committed to the view that the needy have a right, as a matter of justice, to some of the material resources of the better off, they must endorse the view that the imperilled have a right, as a matter of justice, th the bodily services of those who are in a position to help. In short, or so I argue, Good Samaritan Duties are not a matter of Charity; nor are they a matter of altruism; rather, they firmly fall within the purview of justice. I make my case as follows. First, I rebut the claim that those are duties of charity, and not of justice. Second, I argue, pace many, that we owe it to the imperilled themselves, as a matter of justice, to rescue them: we do not owe it to society as a whole. Finally, I show, against a number of theorists, that such duty can and should be enforced by the state. (shrink)
This paper argues that, if one thinks that the needy have a right to the material resources they need in order to lead decent lives, one must be committed, in some cases, to conferring on the sick a right that the healthy give them some of the body parts they need to lead such a life. I then assess two objections against that view, to wit: to confer on the sick a right to the live body parts of the healthy (...) (a) violates the bodily integrity of the latter; and (b) constitutes too much of an interference in their life. I conclude that although the sick sometimes have a right to some of the body parts of the healthy, the latter still retain a considerable degree of autonomy. (shrink)
The desirability, or lack thereof, of bills of rights has been the focus of some of the most enduring political debates over the last two centuries. Unlike civil and political rights, social rights to the meeting of needs, standardly rights to adequate minimum income, education, housing, and health care are not usually given constitutional protection. This book argues that social rights should be constitutionalized and protected by the courts, and examines when such constitutionalization conflicts with democracy. It is thus located (...) at the crossroads of two major issues of contemporary political philosophy, to wit, the issue of democracy and the issue of distributie justice. Interestingly and surprisingly enough, philosophers who engage in penetrating discussions on distributive justice do not usually reflect on the implications of their argument for democracy; they are met with equal indifference on the part of theorists of democracy. This book stems from the perception that there may be conflicts between the demands of democracy and the demands of distributive justice, both of which are crucially important, and from the resulting recognition that the question of the relationship between these two values cannot be ignored. (shrink)