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Permissible Killing and the Irrelevance of Being Human

Rahul Kumar
The Journal of Ethics
Vol. 12, No. 1 (2008), pp. 57-80
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40345339
Page Count: 24
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Permissible Killing and the Irrelevance of Being Human
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Abstract

This is a review essay of Jeff McMahan's recent book The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life (OUP: 2002). In the first part, I lay out the central features of McMahan's account of the wrongness of killing and its implications for when it is permissible to kill. In the second part of the essay, I argue that we ought not to accept McMahan's rejection of species membership as having any bearing on whether it is permissible to kill a particular individual, as there are ways of understanding its relevance that are more plausible than McMahan allows.

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