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II—Claim Rights, Duties, and Lesser-Evil Justifications
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
2015 (English)In: Supplementary volume - Aristotelian Society, ISSN 0309-7013, E-ISSN 1467-8349, Vol. 89, no 1, 267-285 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the relationship between a person's claim right not to be harmed and the duties this claim confers on others. I argue that we should reject Jonathan Quong's evidence-based account of this relationship, which holds that an agent A's possession of a claim against B is partly determined by whether it would be reasonable for A to demand B's compliance with a correlative duty. When B's evidence is that demanding compliance would not be reasonable, A cannot have a claim against B. I suggest that some of the putatively problematic cases that Quong identifies can be resolved by plausibly narrowing the scope of the right not to be harmed. I also argue that Quong's view leads to implausible conclusions, and that his account of what happens to A's claim in the face of lesser-evil justifications is inconsistent with his broader view. I then defend the view that agents are required, and not merely permitted, to act on lesser-evil justifications. I further argue that A may not defend herself against the infliction of harms that are justified on lesser-evil grounds. However, she may defend herself in cases where B is only evidentially, and not objectively, justified in harming her.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 89, no 1, 267-285 p.
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122202DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8349.2015.00253.xOAI: diva2:865511
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, 1521101
Available from: 2015-10-28 Created: 2015-10-28 Last updated: 2015-11-24Bibliographically approved

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