Gerald Lang
University of Leeds
Theories of self-defence tend to invest heavily in ‘liability justifications’: if the Attacker is liable to have defensive violence deployed against him by the Defender, then he will not be wronged by such violence, and selfdefence becomes, as a result, morally unproblematic. This paper contends that liability justifications are overrated. The deeper contribution to an explanation of why defensive permissions exist is made by the Defender’s non-liability. Drawing on both canonical cases of self-defence, featuring Culpable Attackers, and more penumbral cases of self-defence, involving Non-Responsible Threats, a case is assembled for the ‘Non-Liability First Account’ of self-defence.
Keywords Self-defence  Liability  Non-liability  Judith Thomson  Jeff McMahan
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DOI 10.1093/arisoc/aox013
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References found in this work BETA

Killing in Self‐Defense.Jonathan Quong - 2009 - Ethics 119 (3):507-537.
The Basis of Moral Liability to Defensive Killing.Jeff McMahan - 2005 - Philosophical Issues 15 (1):386–405.
Killing the Innocent in Self-Defense.Michael Otsuka - 1994 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 23 (1):74-94.

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Citations of this work BETA

Forfeiture and the Right to a Fair Trial.Gerald Lang - 2020 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 14 (2):203-213.

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