Dignity, Self-Respect, and Bloodless Invasions

In Ryan Jenkins & Bradley Strawser (eds.), Who Should Die? The Ethics of Killing in War. Oxford University Press (2017)
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In Chapter 7, “Dignity, Self-Respect, and Bloodless Invasions”, Saba Bazargan-Forward asks How much violence can we impose on those attempting to politically subjugate us? According to Bazargan-Forward, “reductive individualism” answers this question by determining how much violence one can impose on an individual wrongly attempting to prevent one from political participation. Some have argued that the amount of violence one can permissibly impose in such situations is decidedly sub-lethal. Accordingly, this counterintuitive response has cast doubt on the reductive individualist project. Bazargan-Forward argues, however, that political subjugation involves an institutionally embodied form of disrespect that has been altogether missed. A proper appreciation of this sort of disrespect, he contends, morally permits much greater defensive violence against those attempting to politically subjugate us or others.

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Saba Bazargan-Forward
University of California, San Diego


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