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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Steinhoff on Frowe's Practical Account of Self-Defense

Uwe Steinhoff (University of Hong Kong - Department of Politics and Public Administration) has posted Helen Frowe's 'Practical Account of Self-Defence': A Critique (Public Reason 5(1) (2013): 48-57) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Helen Frowe has recently offered what she calls a “practical” account of self-defense. Her account is supposed to be practical by being subjectivist about permissibility and objectivist about liability. I shall argue here that Frowe first makes up a problem that does not exist and then fails to solve it. To wit, her claim that objectivist accounts of permissibility cannot be action-guiding is wrong; and her own account of permissibility actually retains an objectivist (in the relevant sense) element. In addition, her attempt to restrict subjectivism primarily to “urgent” situations like self-defense contradicts her own point of departure and is either incoherent or futile. Finally, the only actual whole-heartedly objectivist account she criticizes is an easy target; while those objectivist accounts one finds in certain Western European jurisdictions are immune to her criticisms. Those accounts are also clearly superior to hers in terms of action-guidingness.

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