Kerah Gordon-Solmon (Queen's): Not as a Means: Killing as a Side Effect in Self-Defense

A person who keeps her car well maintained and always drives cautiously and alertly decides to drive to the movies.  Freak circumstances cause the car to go out of control.  It has veered in the direction of a pedestrian whom it will kill unless she, or a third party, blows it up with a grenade.

Whether the driver is liable to be thusly killed is the most polarizing question in philosophical debates about the ethics of self-defense.  But existent debates frequently conflate the questions of whether the driver is liable to be killed and how, or by what means the driver is potentially liable to be killed.  I hypothesize separating these questions illuminates the source of widely shared intuitions about the case.  I argue, drawing on Frances Kamm’s account of subordination, that there’s a moral asymmetry among different means of side-effect killing, which has important ramifications here.

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Date & time

Thu 26 Jul 2018, 3:30pm


3.02 Sir Roland Wilson Building, ANU

Event series


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