“Hands up who wants to die?”: Primoratz on responsibility and civilian immunity in wartime [Book Review]
Graduate studies at Western
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (3):299 - 319 (2005)
|Abstract||The question of the morality of war is something of an embarrassment to liberal political thinkers. A philosophical tradition which aspires to found its preferred institutions in respect for individual autonomy, contract, and voluntary association, is naturally confronted by a phenomenon that is almost exclusively explained and justified in the language of States, force and territory. But the apparent difficulties involved in providing a convincing account of nature and ethics of war in terms of relations between individuals has not prevented liberal theorists from attempting this task. This paper examines a recent attempt by Igor Primoratz to sketch out the implications of a consistent liberalism for just war doctrine and, in particular, as regards the question of who may be a legitimate target of attack in wartime. Primoratz’s paper itself is a critique of Michael Waltzer’s authoritative exposition of just war theory for failing to be sufficiently and consistently liberal. The debate between these two authors is a productive site for investigating the potential and limitations of liberal theories of just war.|
|Keywords||citizenship civilian immunity jus in bello Just War theory non-combatant immunity Primoratz principle of discrimination Walzer war|
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