David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Value Inquiry 43 (3):415-432 (2009)
About a year after the start of the Iraq War, a story broke about the abuse of Iraqi detainees by American soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison. Editorialists and science writers noted affinities between what happened at Abu Ghraib and Philip Zimbardo’s famous 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo’s experiment is part of the “situationist” literature in social psychology, which suggests that the contexts in which agents act have a larger influence on behavior, and that personality traits have a smaller influence, than is ordinarily supposed. Recently, there has been increased interest among philosophers in research like Zimbardo’s and its potential for influencing ethical theories. This increase is due in part to the publication of John Doris’ Lack of Character. More recently, Doris and Dominic Murphy have argued that soldiers, including those at Abu Ghraib, often act under conditions of moral excuse because the situational pressures to which they are exposed impair their capacities for moral judgment. I argue that soldiers can be morally responsible for wartime behavior even if their moral capacities have been substantially impaired
|Keywords||War Crimes Moral Responsibility Situationism John Doris Dominic Murphy Abu Ghraib|
|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
Matthew Talbert (2012). Moral Competence, Moral Blame, and Protest. Journal of Ethics 16 (1):89-109.
Similar books and articles
Binoy Kampmark (2006). Karen J. Greenberg and Joshua Dratel, The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib:The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib. Ethics 116 (2):421-425.
Nancy E. Snow (2009). How Ethical Theory Can Improve Practice: Lessons From Abu Ghraib. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):555 - 568.
Paul T. Bartone (2010). Preventing Prisoner Abuse: Leadership Lessons of Abu Ghraib. Ethics and Behavior 20 (2):161 – 173.
Andy Taylor (2010). Moral Responsibility and Subverting Causes. Dissertation, University of Reading
Hagop Sarkissian (2010). Minor Tweaks, Major Payoffs: The Problems and Promise of Situationism in Moral Philosophy. Philosophers' Imprint 10 (9).
Dana K. Nelkin (2005). Freedom, Responsibility and the Challenge of Situationism. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):181–206.
Kelly Oliver (2009). Bodies Against the Law: Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror. [REVIEW] Continental Philosophy Review 42 (1):63-80.
Erik J. Wielenberg (2006). Saving Character. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (4):461 - 491.
John M. Doris (2002). Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior. Cambridge University Press.
John M. Doris & Dominic Murphy (2007). From My Lai to Abu Ghraib: The Moral Psychology of Atrocity. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):25–55.
Added to index2009-09-28
Total downloads68 ( #46,926 of 1,724,768 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #72,187 of 1,724,768 )
How can I increase my downloads?