David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Social Philosophy Today 26:93-106 (2010)
Just war theory has traditionally presupposed what Michael Walzer calls the moral equality of soldiers: that combatants on all sides have an equal right to kill, such that the soldier is not blameworthy for fighting for an unjust cause. The theory of moral equality has come under increasing attack by Jeff McMahan and others who argue that soldiers are responsible for killing for an unjust cause. I agree with McMahan that soldiers cannot be justified in serving injustice, such that there is no full moral equality. Moreover, the common excuses of ignorance and duress cannot exculpate many soldiers. However, I argue that when one considers the force of legal authority and the bonds of patriotism, combined with ignorance and duress, most soldiers are excused. Because of the rarity of exceptions and the consequences of holding soldiers accountable, I conclude that we should presuppose the equal blamelessness of combatants
|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
Igor Primoratz (2002). Michael Walzer's Just War Theory: Some Issues of Responsibility. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (2):221-243.
Yitzhak Benbaji (2007). The Responsibility of Soldiers and the Ethics of Killing in War. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):558–572.
Lene Bomann-Larsen (2004). Licence to Kill? The Question of Just Vs. Unjust Combatants. Journal of Military Ethics 3 (2):142-160.
David Rodin & Henry Shue (eds.) (2008). Just and Unjust Warriors: The Moral and Legal Status of Soldiers. OUP Oxford.
Roger Wertheimer (2007). Reconnoitering Combatant Moral Equality. Journal of Military Ethics 6 (1):60-74.
Uwe Steinhoff (2012). The Moral Equality of Modern Combatants and the Myth of Justified War. Theoretical and Applied Ethics 1 (4):35-44.
Steve Viner (2010). Self-Defense, Punishing Unjust Combatants and Justice in War. Criminal Law and Philosophy 4 (3):297-319.
Nolen Gertz (2008). Just and Unjust Killing. Journal of Military Ethics 7 (4):247-261.
Uwe Steinhoff (2010). Benbaji on Killing in War and 'the War Convention'. Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):616-623.
Judith Lichtenberg (2008). How to Judge Soldiers Whose Cause is Unjust. In David Rodin & Henry Shue (eds.), Just and Unjust Warriors: The Moral and Legal Status of Soldiers. Oxford University Press 112--130.
Uwe Steinhoff (2012). Rights, Liability, and the Moral Equality of Combatants. Journal of Ethics 16 (4):339-366.
Uwe Steinhoff, To Be Killed or Not to Be Killed? On McMahan’s Failure to Draw a Line Between Combatants and Civilians.
Yitzhak Benbaji (2009). The War Convention and the Moral Division of Labour. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):593-617.
Jeff McMahan (2006). The Ethics of Killing in War. Philosophia 34 (1):693-733.
Added to index2011-12-02
Total downloads16 ( #189,690 of 1,778,394 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #167,974 of 1,778,394 )
How can I increase my downloads?