David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Any intelligent discussion of terrorism must demarcate its subject matter, for the term ‘terrorism’ is differently understood and where there is no accord on its meaning there is little chance for agreement on its application or normative status. The best course is to sketch a morally neutral definition that classifies as ‘terrorist’ as many widely-agreed upon cases as possible. Definitions that explicitly render terrorism illegitimate make classification contentious, and it is more informative to base moral assessment on an examination of the case rather than through apriori stipulation. Most writers on the topic agree that terrorism is (i) a deliberate use or threat of violence, (ii) politically-motivated, and (iii) directed against non-military personnel, that is, against civilians or noncombatants. Taking these as the only essential features of terrorism, the simplest and more accurate reportive definition is this: Terrorism is deliberate, politically-motivated violence, or the threat of such, directed against civilians.1 By contrast, Ted Honderich describes terrorism as small-scale violence, driven by a political aim, that violates national or international law and is prima facie morally wrong. He thereby counts a good deal of resistance activity and guerilla warfare as terrorist, even when directed against military personnel, while excluding the large-scale military actions of governments. Of course, he may define the word as he chooses, but given its common..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Alistair M. Macleod (2004). Terrorism and the Root Causes Argument. Social Philosophy Today 20:97-108.
Whitley R. P. Kaufman (2004). Terrorism, Self-Defense, and the Killing of the Innocent. Social Philosophy Today 20:41-52.
Scott C. Lowe (2006). Defining Terrorism. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 2:253-256.
Anne Schwenkenbecher (2010). Terrorism Against Non-Innocents: The Ethical Implications. In Paul Omoyefa (ed.), Basic Applied Ethics. VDM.
Shawn Kaplan (2008). A Typology of Terrorism. Review Journal of Political Philosophy 6 (1):1-38.
Virginia Held (2004). Terrorism and War. Journal of Ethics 8 (1):59-75.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads17 ( #91,421 of 1,096,251 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #218,857 of 1,096,251 )
How can I increase my downloads?