David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In this thesis, I discuss the ethics of civilian protection in armed conflict from the perspective of applied ethics. Specifically, I attempt to explore a way to supplement the limitations of just war theory in civilian protection by providing a fundamental case for civilian protection, by way of considering insights gleaned from David Hume’s conception of justice, and from the perspective of professional military ethics. Moreover, I will further defend my argument for the protection of civilians in armed conflict by demonstrating the immorality of torture. In Chapter 1, I discuss the status of civilians by examining legal and ethical concepts. In Chapter 2, I critically discuss the scope and limitations of just war theory in civilian protection. In Chapter 3, I analyse how civilian protection was considered and how civilians were harmed in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. In Chapter 4, I critically examine civilian protection as part of just conduct in armed conflict by referring to Hume’s conception of justice. In Chapter 5, I examine civilian protection from the perspective of military ethics. In Chapter 6, I make a case against the moral justifiability of torturing civilians in order to illustrate how civilians should be protected in an extreme situation
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