Lesser-evil justifications: a reply to Frowe

Kerah Gordon-Solmon, Theron Gene Pummer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Sometimes one can prevent harm only by contravening rights. If the harm one can prevent is great enough, compared to the stringency of the opposing rights, then one has a lesser-evil justification to contravene the rights. Non-consequentialist orthodoxy holds that, most of the time, lesser-evil justifications add to agents’ permissible options without taking any away. Helen Frowe rejects this view. She claims that, almost always, agents must act on their lesser-evil justifications. Our primary task is to refute Frowe’s flagship argument. Secondarily, it is to sketch a positive case for nonconsequentialist orthodoxy.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalLaw and Philosophy
VolumeFirst Online
Early online date4 Aug 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Aug 2022


  • Lesser-Evil Justifications
  • Helen Frowe


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