Abstract

Helen Frowe depicts the following fictional case: Fran is being raped by Eric and can't stop him with violent resistance. Nevertheless, she resists and breaks Eric's wrist. The infliction of defensive harm on Eric is intuitively permissible, yet it runs counter to the dominant view that defensive harms must stand a reasonable chance of success. Call this the Success Condition (S). To solve this problem, Daniel Statman contends that even if Victim's defensive harms fail to prevent her rape, they do prevent the destruction of another good, her honor, and thus S is satisfied. Recently, Joseph Bowen has critiqued Statman's proposal by showing that honor-based justifications for defensive harming are too permissive. In this paper, I contend that Statman's proposal is too restrictive. First, I review Statman's accounts of honor, dishonor, and non-honor. Second, I argue that Statman's account requires Fran's honor to be lost or damaged if she doesn't resist—a highly offensive conclusion about rape victims. Third, I explain why the best alternative to this (i.e., allowing Fran's honor to be maintained either way) satisfies S but not the necessity condition. I conclude that we ought to reject Statman's solution.

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