David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Science and Engineering Ethics 10 (3):531-542 (2004)
I ask whether weapons research is ever justified. Weapons research is identified as the business of the engineer. It is argued that the engineer has responsibility for the uses to which the tools that he designs can be put, and that responsibility extends to the use of weapons. It is maintained that there are no inherently defensive weapons, and hence there is no such thing as ‘defensive’ weapons research. The issue then is what responsibilities as a professional the engineer has in regard to such research. An account is given to ground the injunction not to provide the means to harm as a duty for the engineers. This account is not, however, absolutist, and as such it allows justifiable exceptions. The answer to my question is thus not that weapons research is never justified but there must be a strong assurance that the results will only be used as a just means in a just cause.
|Keywords||weapons research engineer tool purpose responsibility professional moral rules justifiable exception|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Bernard Gert (1998). Morality: Its Nature and Justification. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
John Forge (2009). Proportionality, Just War Theory and Weapons Innovation. Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (1):25-38.
T. A. Cavanaugh (2010). Temporal Indiscriminateness: The Case of Cluster Bombs. Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (1):135-145.
Similar books and articles
Sohail H. Hashmi & Steven Lee (eds.) (2004). Ethics and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Religious and Secular Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.
Joachim Schummer (2001). Ethics of Chemical Synthesis. Hyle 7 (2):103 - 124.
Brian Rappert (2003). Coding Ethical Behaviour: The Challenges of Biological Weapons. Science and Engineering Ethics 9 (4):453-470.
Frances V. Harbour (1995). Islamic Principles and the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. Journal of Religious Ethics 23 (1):69-92.
Jacques G. Richardson (2004). The Bane of “Inhumane” Weapons and Overkill: An Overview of Increasingly Lethal Arms and the Inadequacy of Regulatory Controls. Science and Engineering Ethics 10 (4):667-692.
John W. Lango (2010). Nonlethal Weapons, Noncombatant Immunity, and Combatant Nonimmunity: A Study of Just War Theory. [REVIEW] Philosophia 38 (3):475-497.
Robert E. Goodin (1985). Disarming Nuclear Apologists. Inquiry 28 (1-4):153 – 176.
John Forge (2007). What Are the Moral Limits of Weapons Research? Philosophy in the Contemporary World 14 (1):76-87.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads33 ( #121,535 of 1,907,150 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #467,610 of 1,907,150 )
How can I increase my downloads?