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Defensive Killing

Workshop on Helen Frowe's 'Defensive Killing: An Essay on War and Self-Defence

Wolfson Research Exchange, University of Warwick, 8 November 2013

Organizer: Massimo Renzo (Philosophy)

The philosophical debate in just war theory has been one of the most flourishing and stimulating ones in the last ten years. Philosophers such as Cecile Fabre, Jeff McMahan and David Rodin have raised important challenges to the orthodox understanding of the morality of war and to the way in which international law conceives the traditional distinction between jus in bello and jus ad bellum. This debate has become increasingly more complex in the last few years, with a number of other philosophers joining in. Dr. Helen Frowe, one of the most interesting voices in this debate, is working on the final draft of a manuscript, under contract with Oxford University Press, in which she offers a novel account of self-defence and then considers the implications of this account for certain aspects of killing in war. In particular, Dr. Frowe defends the view that non-combatants on the unjust side of a war can sometimes render themselves liable to attack by combatants on the just side, thereby challenging some of the main tenets of the “neoclassical view” defended by Fabre, McMahan, Rodin and others. This workshop will bring together moral, legal and political philosophers to discuss the pre-final draft of Dr. Frowe’s manuscript.


This event is generously supported by The Society for Applied Philosophy.


10:00-10:15 Arrival

10:15-10:30 Introduction

10:30-11:45 Vittorio Bufacchi (Cork) – “Threats and Bystanders”

12:15-13:30 Victor Tadros (Warwick) – “Killing Innocent Threats”

14:30-15:45 Jonathan Parry (Sheffield) – “War and Self-Defence”

16:15-17:30 James Pattison (Manchester) – “Non-combatant Immunity”