The Need to Attend to Probabilities (for Purposes of Self-Defense and Other Preemptive Actions)

6 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2017  

Larry Alexander

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

In this short essay I ask what must someone acting in defense of others believe and with what level of credence in order not to be culpable for so acting. I focus on defense of others to avoid the issue of excuse, as the defender of others is not acting out of fear for his own safety, a fear that might excuse the defensive acts of the victim of the feared attack. I focus on beliefs and levels of credence because no defender can know for certain the factors relevant to permissible defensive actions.

Keywords: preemtive action, culpability, justification, excuse, necessity, probability

JEL Classification: A00, A10, K10

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Larry, The Need to Attend to Probabilities (for Purposes of Self-Defense and Other Preemptive Actions) (2016). San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 17-256. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2909273

Lawrence Alexander (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
619-260-2317 (Phone)
619-260-4728 (Fax)

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