Journal of Religious Ethics 37 (1):131-158 (2009)

This essay argues on behalf of a hybrid theory for an ethics of self-defense understood as the Forfeiture-Partiality Theory. The theory weds the idea that a malicious attacker forfeits the right to life to the idea that we are permitted to prefer one's life to another's in cases of involuntary harm or threat. The theory is meant to capture our intuitions both about instances in which we can draw a moral asymmetry between attacker and victim and cases in which we cannot. I develop the theory by attending to instances of intentional, villainous harm and instances of involuntary danger—the latter of which are a matter of bad luck. I call some bad luck cases "Interpersonal Lottery Conflicts." These cases refer to potentially lethal conflicts into which parties are thrown as victims of circumstance. Although neither party has a moral advantage over another, that fact does not preclude permissible self-defense
Keywords luck  forfeiture  self‐defense  partiality  objectively unjust threat  innocence
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2008.00369.x
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Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
The Abuse of Casuistry: A History of Moral Reasoning.Kenneth W. Kemp - 1988 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 24 (1):76-80.

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Recent Work on the Ethics of Self-Defense.Tyler Doggett - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (4):220-233.

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