David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Ethics 15 (4):371-386 (2011)
Any plausible position in the ethics of war and political violence in general will include the requirement of protection of civilians (non-combatants, common citizens) against lethal violence. This requirement is particularly prominent, and particularly strong, in just war theory. Some adherents of the theory see civilian immunity as absolute, not to be overridden in any circumstances whatsoever. Others allow that it may be overridden, but only in extremis. The latter position has been advanced by Michael Walzer under the heading of “supreme emergency.” In this paper, I look into some of the issues of interpretation and application of Walzer’s “supreme emergency” view and some of the criticisms that have been levelled against it. I argue that Walzer’s view is vague and unacceptable as it stands, but that the alternatives proposed by critics such as Brian Orend, C.A.J. Coady, and Stephen Nathanson are also unattractive. I go on to construct a position that is structurally similar to Walzer’s, but more specific and much less permissive, which I term the “moral disaster” view. According to this view, deliberate killing of civilians is almost absolutely wrong
|Keywords||Civilian immunity “Dirty hands” problem Just war theory Moral disaster Non-combatant immunity Walzer, Michael Supreme emergency War|
|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
W. D. Ross (2002). The Right and the Good. Clarendon Press.
Barrie Paskins & Michael Walzer (1981). Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations. Philosophical Quarterly 31 (124):285.
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (1988). Moral Dilemmas. B. Blackwell.
Michael Walzer (1973). Political Action: The Problem of Dirty Hands. Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (2):160-180.
Citations of this work BETA
J. Toby Reiner (forthcoming). Supreme Emergencies’, Ontological Holism, and Rights to Communal Membership. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-21.
Daniel Statman (2013). Supreme Emergencies and the Continuum Problem. Journal of Military Ethics 11 (4):287 - 298.
Similar books and articles
Shawn Kaplan (2011). Unraveling Emergency Justifications and Excuses for Terrorism. Journal of Social Philosophy 42 (2):219-238.
Per Sandin (2009). Supreme Emergencies Without the Bad Guys. Philosophia 37 (1):153-167.
Stephen R. Shalom (2012). Killing in War and Moral Equality. Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (4):495-512.
Igor Primoratz (2002). Michael Walzer's Just War Theory: Some Issues of Responsibility. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (2):221-243.
Stephen E. Lammers (1983). Area Bombing in World War II: The Argument of Michael Walzer. Journal of Religious Ethics 11 (1):96 - 113.
Igor Primoratz (2005). Civilian Immunity in War. Philosophical Forum 36 (1):41–58.
Karsten J. Struhl (2006). Can There Be a Just War? Radical Philosophy Today 2006:3-25.
Yitzhak Benbaji (2010). Dehumanization, Lesser Evil and the Supreme Emergency Exemption. Diametros 23:5-21.
Anne Schwenkenbecher (2009). Terrorism, Supreme Emergency and Killing the Innocent. Perspectives - The Review of International Affairs 17 (1):105-126.
Christopher Toner (2005). Just War and the Supreme Emergency Exemption. Philosophical Quarterly 55 (221):545 - 561.
Added to index2010-07-26
Total downloads82 ( #41,037 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #147,227 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?