David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
International Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (1):133-150 (2009)
Practically all modern definitions of war rule out that individuals can wage war. They conceive of war as a certain kind of conflict between groups. In fact, many definitions even restrict the term “war” to sustained armed conflicts between states. Instead of taking such definitions as points of departure, the article starts from scratch. I first explain what an explication of the concept of “war” should achieve. I then introduce the fundamental, and frequently overlooked, distinction between war as an historical event and war as an action. It is war as action—which, unlike events, can be right or wrong—that I explicate. Testing our linguistic intuitions with different examples of conflict I isolate several criteria that a war proper has to fulfill and try to demonstrate that not only collectives but individuals, too, can wage war. In conclusion I examine alternative definitions of war and show that in comparison to them mine fares rather well.
|Keywords||collectives individualism liberalism 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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Uwe Steinhoff (2012). Rights, Liability, and the Moral Equality of Combatants. Journal of Ethics 16 (4):339-366.
Similar books and articles
Steven Metz & Phillip R. Cuccia (eds.) (2011). Defining War for the 21st Century. Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College.
Brian Orend, War. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Mary Kaldor (2006). The "New War" in Iraq. Theoria 53 (109):1-27.
Gaoshan Zuo (2007). Just War and Justice of War: Reflections on Ethics of War. [REVIEW] Frontiers of Philosophy in China 2 (2):280-290.
Yigal Levin & Amnon Shapira (eds.) (2011). War and Peace in Jewish Tradition: From the Biblical World to the Present. Routledge.
Patience Coster (2013). The Ethics of War. Rosen Central.
Adam J. Berinsky, Assuming the Costs of War: Events, Elites, and American Public Support for Military Conflict.
James Pattison (2013). When Is It Right to Fight? Just War Theory and the Individual-Centric Approach. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):35-54.
Yigal Levin & Amnon Shapira (eds.) (2012). War and Peace in Jewish Tradition: From the Biblical World to the Present: The Third Annual Conference of the Israel Heritage Department Ariel, Israel. Routledge.
C. A. J. Coady (1980). The Leaders and the Led: Problems of Just War Theory. Inquiry 23 (3):275 – 291.
Added to index2011-12-02
Total downloads126 ( #11,879 of 1,696,808 )
Recent downloads (6 months)33 ( #13,015 of 1,696,808 )
How can I increase my downloads?