DPhil Seminar (Tuesday - Week 4, MT22)

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Narrow proportionality governs the defensive harms that are inflicted on the liable persons, those who are liable to at least some of the harm inflicted on them. Wide proportionality governs the defensive harms inflicted on the non-liable persons, those who are not liable to any of the harm inflicted. What is the relation between narrow and wide proportionality, and what is the relation between them and what we may call “proportionality, full stop”? One aim of this talk is to show that we should reject a seemingly obvious proposal, the “Default Approach”. On this approach, we determine narrow and wide proportionality separately, and we hold that a defensive act is proportionate, full stop, if and only if it is both narrowly and widely proportionate. §2 further explicates the approach, showing that it incorporates the “Independence Assumption”, that narrow proportionality is determined independently of wide proportionality, and vice versa. §3 explains an existing objection to the approach, according to which being narrowly proportionality is not necessary for being proportionate, full stop. And it discusses how one should revise the approach if one accepts the objection. §4 develops two arguments against both the Default Approach and the revised approach proposed in §3. The “Argument for Trade-Off” shows that, contrary to what the two approaches imply, we should allow for trading off harm to liable persons with harm to non-liable persons. The “Argument from Internal Consistency” shows that the two approaches imply an inconsistent conception of proportionality. §§5-6 develop and defend the approach that I favour, the “Weighted Aggregation Approach”.

The talk will be in person.

See the DPhil Seminar website for details.

DPhil Seminar Convenor: Mariona Miyata - Sturm