Grounding Self-Defense in Rights


in War and Self-Defense

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780199257744
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601811 | DOI:
 Grounding Self-Defense in Rights

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This chapter presents a rights-based explanation of self-defence. A right of defence exists when a subject is at liberty to defend a certain good by performing an action that would otherwise be impermissible. The moral justification for this liberty invokes three considerations: an appropriate normative relation exists between the subject and the end of the right, consisting of either of a right to, or a duty of care towards the good protected; the defensive act is a proportionate, necessary response to an imminent threat of harm; and the object of defensive force has an appropriate degree of normative responsibility for, and the subject is innocent of, the harm threatened.

Keywords: self-defence; rights; liberty

Chapter.  13504 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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