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The Ends of HarmThe Moral Foundations of Criminal Law$
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Victor Tadros

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199554423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554423.001.0001

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Responsibility and Self-Defence

Responsibility and Self-Defence

(p.241) 11 Responsibility and Self-Defence
The Ends of Harm

Victor Tadros

Oxford University Press

Earlier chapters began to explore the view that responsibility for an unjust threat renders a person liable to be harmed in self-defence. This view has the revisionist implication that it is wrong to defend oneself against a non-responsible attacker. The revisionist view has been defended by some scholars, notably Jeff McMahan and Mike Otsuka. This chapter attacks this revisionist view. It defends the idea that there is an important distinction between eliminative harming and manipulative harming. Self-defence involves eliminative harming, which is easier to justify than manipulative harming. It then indicates that one factor that determines the permissibility of harming non-responsible threats is the duty that people have to ensure that their bodies do not pose threats to others. The chapter also considers the permissibility of harming those who block one's escape route from a threat.

Keywords:   eliminative harming, the means principle, non-responsible threats, blockers, self-defence

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