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GRIPh Lecture: Killing Civilians in War, by Jeff McMahan

When:Th 18-05-2017 at 20:00
Where:Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

The GRIPh Lecture is a yearly event organized with Studium Generale

In the traditional theory of the just war and in international law, it can be permissible to kill civilian bystanders, provided that the killing is an unavoidable side effect of otherwise permissible military action and provided that it is proportionate. In this talk I will explore what it is for the killing of innocent people to be proportionate. I will argue that, in general, acts of war by combatants whose aims are unjust cannot be proportionate in any morally significant sense. But acts of war by combatants whose aims are just can be proportionate even if they kill innocent civilians. I will explain what is at issue in making a judgement of proportionality and will argue that in some instances judgements of proportionality can be surprisingly precise. Yet much depends on the assumptions we make about certain fundamental issues in moral theory. More information about this lecture

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One day before this lecture, on Wednesday, Jeff McMahan will give another lecture in Groningen, entitled: Might We Benefit Animals by Eating Them?