Self-defense, innocent aggressors, and the duty of martyrdom

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (1):78-96 (2010)
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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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Citations of this work

Moral Excuse to the Pacifist's Rescue.Blake Hereth - 2023 - Journal of Pacifism and Nonviolence:1-32.
Animal Rights Pacifism.Blake Hereth - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):4053-4082.
Deterrence and Self-Defence.Nadine Elzein - 2021 - The Monist 104 (4):526-539.

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References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Self-defense.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1991 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 20 (4):283-310.
Terrorism without intention.David Rodin - 2004 - Ethics 114 (4):752-771.

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