Scope Restrictions, National Partiality, and War

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Most of us believe that partiality applies in a broad range of relationships. One relationship on which there is much disagreement is co-nationality. Some writers argue that co-national partiality is not justified in certain cases, like killing in war, since killing in defense of co-nationals is intuitively impermissible in other contexts. I argue that this approach overlooks an important structural feature of partiality—namely, that its scope is sometimes restricted. In this essay, I show how some relationships that generate reasons of partiality are restricted in scope—that is, they generate reasons within particular contexts or with respect to particular goods. I then argue that co-national partiality is scope restricted. I then show how this fact helps proponents of co-national partiality overcome the aforementioned objection to its application in cases like war.
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Archival date: 2020-11-28
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