Ethics 119 (4):699-728 (2009)

Seth Lazar
Australian National University
I try to show that agent responsibility is an inadequate basis for the attribution of liability, by discrediting the Risk Argument and showing how the Responsibility Argument in fact collapses into the Risk Argument. I have concentrated on undermining these as philosophical theories of self-defense, although I at times note that our theory of self-defense should not be predicated on assumptions that are inapplicable to the context of war. The potential combatant, I conclude, should not look to the agency view to ease his conscience about the killing he will do in war. If he is to fight without violating rights, then he will need a different theory of self-defense; if there are no more defensible theories, then he must either accept pacifism—which I think is a live possibility—or seek to identify stronger countervailing reasons, which can override the great force of his victims’ rights to life.
Keywords liability  risk  self-defense  war  rights
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DOI 10.1086/605727
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Associative Duties and the Ethics of Killing in War.Seth Lazar - 2013 - Journal of Practical Ethics 1 (1):3-48.
The Moral Grounds of Reasonably Mistaken Self-Defense.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (1):140-156.
Rights, Liability, and the Moral Equality of Combatants.Uwe Steinhoff - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (4):339-366.
Authorization and The Morality of War.Seth Lazar - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):211-226.

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