Just and unjust killing

Journal of Military Ethics 7 (4):247-261 (2008)
To provide a way to understand warfare and debate military conduct, Michael Walzer's Just and Unjust Wars tries to show that civilians and soldiers are not separated by a barrier of violence as we might think, but rather inhabit the same moral world. While this view enables us to question and criticize our leaders during times of war instead of simply claiming ignorance, its success is gained by obscuring certain fundamental boundaries that exist between combatants and noncombatants. By comparing Walzer's just war theory with the existential theories of Jean-Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger, we can therefore find a more complete picture of what it means to declare war and what it means to engage in combat. This will allow us to see that what separates the soldier from the civilian is our everyday avoidance of death and anything associated with it. Through an investigation into the relationship between death and killing we can then ask, from an existential standpoint, whether we can call any war just so long as our evasion of death also results in our evasion of what soldiers must go through to protect us, thus preventing the soldier from being able to truly return home.
Keywords Just war theory  existentialism  phenomenology  human rights  killing
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/15027570802573203
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
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
Frantz Fanon (1998). The Wretched of the Earth. In Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze (ed.), African Philosophy: An Anthology. Blackwell Publishers 228--233.
M. Walzer (1979). Just and Unjust Wars. Philosophy 54 (209):415-420.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

49 ( #69,794 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.