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Workshop on the Ethics of Self-Defence at Oxford

The Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) [1] is holding a workshop entitled “Eliminative and Manipulative Agency in the Ethics of Self-Defence.” [2]
Date: June 15, 2010
Location: Old Indian Institute, James Martin 21st Century School, Oxford
Time: 0900-1800

Dr. Helen Frowe (Sheffield): ‘Threats And Bystanders’
Dr. Gerald Lang (Leeds): ‘Self-Defence And Agency’
Dr. Seth Lazar (Oxford): ‘Scepticism About The Eliminative/Manipulative Agency Distinction’
Professor Victor Tadros (Warwick): ‘Duty And Liability’

Jo Firth (Oxford)
Dr. Jon Quong (Manchester)
Dr. David Rodin (Oxford)
Guy Sela (Oxford)

Kima has been drugged and abandoned at the bottom of a well. She wakes up to see Niko hurtling to-wards her. He was walking alongside the (concealed) well when a powerful gust of wind blew him down it. If Kima does nothing Niko’s body will crush her, but he will survive. Or, she can save herself, using her trusty ray gun to disintegrate his body. Most people think Kima is justified in killing Niko to save herself, even though Niko is quite innocent of the threat he poses. But why? One answer is that killing Niko is an example of eliminative agency—Kima is not benefiting from Niko’s presence, but merely eliminating the threat that he poses. This is easier to justify than manipulative agency, which would involve using Niko’s body to secure a benefit she could not enjoy in his absence. This workshop brings together some of the UK’s leading philosophers of self-defence to discuss the eliminative/manipulative agency distinction, and assess its contribution to the ethics of self-defence.

Lunch served. Papers will be pre-circulated a week in advance. Everyone is welcome, but registration is required. Numbers will be limited so register early to avoid disappointment. Please contact lucy.crittenden (at) politics.ox.ac.uk to register .