Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (1):78-96 (2010)

Abstract
On the traditional doctrine of self-defense, defensive force is permissible not only against Culpable Aggressors but against Innocent Aggressors as well (for example, psychotic aggressors). Some moral philosophers have recently challenged this view, arguing that one may not harm innocent attackers because morality requires culpability as an essential condition of being liable to defensive force. This essay examines and rejects this challenge as both a violation of common sense and as insufficiently grounded in convincing reasons from moral theory.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0114.2009.01359.x
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