Killing In Self-Defence
Vihvelin (Kadri)
Source: Luper - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death, 2014, Chapter 17
Paper - Abstract

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Editor’s Introduction1

  1. In Chapter 17 the aim is to clarify when we may kill others in self-defense.
  2. Kadri Vihvelin discusses Judith Thomson's influential view on the matter, according to which defensive force may be used against those who have lost the right not to be killed.
  3. Some of Thomson's critics reject her account since it implies that innocent people may have lost the right not to be killed. For example, if a villain gives you a drug that makes you crazy, and, thus crazed, you are about to kill me, you have lost2 your right not to be killed, and it is permissible for me to use lethal force to stop you.
  4. Vihvelin shows that some of these criticisms of Thomson fail, then offers her own criticism. According to Vihvelin, the moral appropriateness of defensive force does not depend on the forfeiture of the right not to be killed.


Book Chapter, but pdf downloaded from Cambridge Core. Filed in zip with full book.

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "Luper (Steven) - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death: Introduction".

Footnote 2: Well, surely any account of self-defense would allow you to kill a homicidal maniac, if there’s no other means of self-preservation, however the maniac came upon his mania?

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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