David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Military Ethics 4 (2):85-99 (2005)
This article furnishes a philosophical background for the current debate about responsibility and culpability for war crimes by referring to ideas from three important just war thinkers: Augustine, Francisco de Vitoria, and Michael Walzer. It combines lessons from these three thinkers with perspectives on current problems in the ethics of war, distinguishes between legal culpability, moral culpability, and moral responsibility, and stresses that even lower-ranking soldiers must in many cases assume moral responsibility for their acts, even though they are part of a military hierarchy and act under orders. The questions addressed in this article are arguably among the hardest and most muddled in military ethics and deserve close philosophical analysis and scrutiny.
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References found in this work BETA
Gregory Reichberg, Henrik Syse & Endre Begby (eds.) (2006). The Ethics of War: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Blackwell.
David Rodin (2004). War and Self-Defense. Ethics and International Affairs 18 (1):63–68.
Martin L. Cook (2004). The Moral Warrior: Ethics and Service in the U.S. Military. State University of New York Press.
Brian Orend (2000). Michael Walzer on War and Justice. University of Wales Press.
William Schweiker (1995). Responsibility and Christian Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Gregory M. Reichberg (2013). The Moral Equality of Combatants – a Doctrine in Classical Just War Theory? A Response to Graham Parsons. Journal of Military Ethics 12 (2):181 - 194.
Milla Emilia Vaha (2011). Child Soldiers and Killing in Self-Defence: Challenging the 'Moral View' on Killing in War. Journal of Military Ethics 10 (1):36-51.
Fritz Allhoff (2009). The War on Terror and the Ethics of Exceptionalism. Journal of Military Ethics 8 (4):265-288.
Chad W. Seagren (2015). Military Ethics and Moral Blame Across Agency Lines. Journal of Military Ethics 14 (2):177-193.
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