Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (4):815-829 (2016)

Authors
Jonathan Quong
University of Southern California
Abstract
In this paper, I offer two arguments in support of the proposition that there are sometimes agent-relative prerogatives to impose harm on nonliable persons. The first argument begins with a famous case where most people intuitively agree it is permissible to perform an act that results in an innocent person’s death, and where there is no liability-based or consequentialist justification for acting. I show that this case is relevantly analogous to a case involving the intentional imposition of lethal defensive harm on a nonliable person. In the final part of the paper, I provide a second, independent, argument in support of the proposition that there are agent-relative permissions to foreseeably harm or kill nonliable people under certain conditions.
Keywords Agent-relative prerogatives  Defensive harm  Liability  Nonresponsible threats  Self-defense  Violinist
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DOI 10.1007/s11572-014-9345-y
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