Taddeo’s recent article, ‘Information Warfare: A Philosophical Perspective’ (Philos. Technol. 25:105–120, 2012) is a useful addition to the literature on information communications technologies (ICTs) and warfare. In this short response, I draw attention to two issues arising from the article. The first concerns the applicability of ‘information warfare’ terminology to current political and military discourse, on account of its relative lack of contemporary usage. The second engages with the political and ethical implications of treating ICT environments as (...) a ‘domain’, with its ramifications for the pursuit of ‘dominion’, particularly through military action. (shrink)
This paper focuses on Information Warfare—the warfare characterised by the use of information and communication technologies. This is a fast growing phenomenon, which poses a number of issues ranging from the military use of such technologies to its political and ethical implications. The paper presents a conceptual analysis of this phenomenon with the goal of investigating its nature. Such an analysis is deemed to be necessary in order to lay the groundwork for future investigations into this topic, addressing (...) the ethical problems engendered by this kind of warfare. The conceptual analysis is developed in three parts. First, it delineates the relation between Information Warfare and the Information revolution. It then focuses attention on the effects that the diffusion of this phenomenon has on the concepts of war. On the basis of this analysis, a definition of Information Warfare is provided as a phenomenon not necessarily sanguinary and violent, and rather transversal concerning the environment in which it is waged, the way it is waged and the ontological and social status of its agents. The paper concludes by taking into consideration the Just War Theory and the problems arising from its application to the case of Information Warfare. (shrink)
In the absence of explicit punitive sanctions, why do individuals voluntarily participate in intergroup warfare when doing so incurs a mortality risk? Here we consider the motivation of individuals for participating in warfare. We hypothesize that in addition to other considerations, individuals are incentivized by the possibility of rewards. We test a prediction of this “cultural rewards war-risk hypothesis” with ethnographic literature on warfare in small-scale societies. We find that a greater number of benefits from warfare (...) is associated with a higher rate of death from conflict. This provides preliminary support for the relationship between rewards and participation in warfare. (shrink)
Building on and partially refining previous theoretical work, this paper presents an extended simulation model of ancestral warfare. This model (1) disentangles attack and defense, (2) tries to differentiate more strictly between selfish and altruistic efforts during war, (3) incorporates risk aversion and deterrence, and (4) pays special attention to the role of brutality. Modeling refinements and simulation results yield a differentiated picture of possible evolutionary dynamics. The main observations are: (i) Altruism in this model is more likely to (...) evolve for defenses than for attacks. (ii) Risk aversion, deterrence and the interplay of migration levels and brutality can change evolutionary dynamics substantially. (iii) Unexpectedly, one occasional simulation outcome is a dynamically stable state of ‘tolerated intergroup theft’, raising the question if corresponding patterns also exist in real intergroup conflicts. Finally, possible implications for theories of the co-evolution of bellicosity and altruism in humans are discussed. (shrink)
Preface -- Introduction. Catlin, ethics, and ideology in the Age of Jackson -- 1. Catlin's epiphany -- 2. Catlin's gaze -- 3. Catlin's lament -- 4. Catlin's tragedy : Catlin in Europe -- Conclusion. Catlin's fetish : rethinking Catlin's role in environmental thought -- Notes -- Works cited -- Index.
Just war theory is a difficult, even paradoxical, philosophical topic. It is not just that warfare involves large-scale, organised, deliberate killing, and hence might seem the very paradigm of immorality. The just war tradition sharply divorces the question of whether or not it is permissible to resort to war – the question of jus ad bellum – from the question of how and against whom one may inflict harm once at war – the question of jus in bello. As (...) Michael Walzer notes,1 this separation of jus in bello from jus ad bellum means that we can meaningfully talk of an unjust war being fought justly, and vice versa: soldiers defending against aggression might nevertheless be criminals for the way in which they do it; while soldiers prosecuting an aggressive war, provided they fight it in the right way, are without culpability. This paper will draw upon the morality of individual self-defence to explain certain important features of the traditional jus in bello: the permissibility of killing, even by soldiers who lack justice on their side; the principles that govern surrender and the taking of prisoners of war; and the principle of discrimination between soldiers and civilians. Our explanation will not leave all aspects of the jus in bello undisturbed: it has consequences that are revisionary in at least some respects, this being the upshot of trying to explain the jus in bello in individualist terms. Partly because of such consequences, approaching the morality of war in individualist terms is neither straightforward nor uncontroversial.2 But we are prepared to accept.. (shrink)
..............................................................................................101 I. The Idea of a Noncombatant ........................................................104 II. The Moral Shield Protecting Noncombatants.............................106 A. Accommodation.......................................................................107 B. Guilty Past ...............................................................................107 C. Guilty Bystander Trying to Inflict Harm .................................109 D. Guilty Bystander Disposed to Inflict Harm .............................109 E. Guilty Bystander Exulting in Anticipated Evil ........................109 F. Fault Forfeits First Doctrine in Just Warfare ...........................110 III. Noncombatants as Wrongful Trespassers ...................................110 IV. The Noncombatant Status of Captured Soldiers ........................111 V. Guerrilla Combat ..........................................................................116 VI. Morally Innocent Unjust Combatants.........................................118 VII. Should Rights Reflect (...) What We Can Know? ............................121 VIII. Absolute and Moderate Construction of the Revised Right.. (shrink)
Modern warfare cannot be conducted without civilians being killed. In order to reconcile this fact with the principle of discrimination in just war theory, the principle is applied through the doctrine of double effect. But this doctrine is morally inadequate because it is too permissive regarding the risk to civilians. For this reason, Michael Walzer has suggested that the doctrine be supplemented with what he calls the idea of double intention: combatants are not only to refrain from intending to (...) harm civilians; they are also to take precautions to reduce risk to civilians, even at the expense of increasing risk to themselves. The article develops the idea of double intention by addressing two questions: What does it mean to intend to reduce civilian risk, and how much should civilian risk be reduced? The results of this discussion are then used to consider a moral issue that arises in technologically asymmetric warfare, namely, the extent to which the use of precision-guided munitions, which allow more accurate targeting, can by itself bear the moral burden imposed by the principle of discrimination. (shrink)
The information revolution has fostered the rise of new ways of waging war, generally by means of cyberspace-based attacks on the infrastructures upon which modern societies increasingly depend. This new way of war is primarily disruptive, rather than destructive; and its low barriers to entry make it possible for individuals and groups (not just nation-states) easily to acquire very serious war-making capabilities. The less lethal appearance of information warfare and the possibility of cloaking the attacker''s true identity put serious (...) pressure on traditional just war doctrines that call for adherence to the principles of right purpose, duly constituted authority, and last resort. Age-old strictures about noncombatant immunity are also attenuated by the varied means of attack enabled by advanced information technologies. Therefore, the nations and societies leading the information revolution have a primary ethical obligation to constrain the circumstances under which information warfare may be used -- principally by means of a pledge of no first use of such means against noncombatants. (shrink)
The latest catchphrase to enter the English language as a result of military conflict is the term 'asymmetrical warfare'. At its broadest, asymmetrical warfare is simply any conflict in which there is a significant qualitative 1 mismatch between opponents in any or all of the following: manpower, firepower, technology and tactics. While the phrase is new, the concept is not. Asymmetrical warfare has been going on for about as long as humans have fought each other in organized (...) ways. In the South African context, for example, one need only think of the devastating attacks by King Shaka's highly-organized regiments (equipped as they were with revolutionary weaponry like the short stabbing spear or assegai), against the various tribes and groups that got in the way of Shaka's expansionist goals. Asymmetry was also an essential component in the successes of the rifle, canon and Gatling-gun equipped colonial armies who subdued the tribesmen of Africa and elsewhere. In the more recent past the ANC's low-tech guerrilla campaign against the conventional might of the apartheid regime is yet another example. There are, of course, complexities here, and asymmetries are not all of the same ilk, nor do they remain fixed, and certainly it is sometimes difficult to tell whether a conflict can properly be defined as asymmetrical. Nonetheless the general concept is easily recognizable. (shrink)
The early examples of self-directing robots attracted the interest of both scientific and military communities. Biologists regarded these devices as material models of animal tropisms. Engineers envisaged the possibility of turning self-directing robots into new “intelligent” torpedoes during World War I. Starting from World War II, more extensive interactions developed between theoretical inquiry and applied military research on the subject of adaptive and intelligent machinery. Pioneers of Cybernetics were involved in the development of goal-seeking warfare devices. But collaboration occasionally (...) turned into open dissent. Founder of Cybernetics Norbert Wiener, in the aftermath of World War II, argued against military applications of learning machines, by drawing on epistemological appraisals of machine learning techniques. This connection between philosophy of science and techno-ethics is both strengthened and extended here. It is strengthened by an epistemological analysis of contemporary machine learning from examples; it is extended by a reflection on ceteris paribus conditions for models of adaptive behaviours. (shrink)
Here we propose a new theory for the origins and evolution of human warfare as a complex social phenomenon involving several behavioral traits, including aggression, risk taking, male bonding, ingroup altruism, outgroup xenophobia, dominance and subordination, and territoriality, all of which are encoded in the human genome. Among the family of great apes only chimpanzees and humans engage in war; consequently, warfare emerged in their immediate common ancestor that lived in patrilocal groups who fought one another for females. (...) The reasons for warfare changed when the common ancestor females began to immigrate into the groups of their choice, and again, during the agricultural revolution. (shrink)
Thomas Aquinas, one of the "founding fathers" of just war theory, offers an account of virtuous warfare in practice. The author argues that Aquinas's approach to warfare, with its emphasis on justice and charity, is helpful in providing a coherent moral account of war to which Christians can subscribe. Particular attention is given to the role of charity, since this virtue is the distinguishing characteristic of the Christian soldier. Charity compels him to soldier justly, and by fighting justly, (...) he is elevated by God to friendship with God. Notable features of this approach are its emphasis on the criteria for judging whether a war is just and its relativizing of the criteria for proper combat behavior. (shrink)
Abstract Semi-autonomous robotic weapons are already carving out a role for themselves in modern warfare. Recently, Ronald Arkin has argued that autonomous lethal robotic systems could be more ethical than humans on the battlefield, and that this marks a significant reason in favour of their development and use. Here I offer a critical response to the position advanced by Arkin. Although I am sympathetic to the spirit of the motivation behind Arkin's project and agree that if we decide to (...) develop and use these machines they ought to be programmed to behave ethically, there are several major problems with his view as it stands. At present, it is not clear whether such machines would be capable of behaving more ethically than humans. More importantly, to the extent that humans would remain in the context of war, human moral transgressions will continue, especially in the face of complicated ethical challenges accompanying automated warfare. Moreover, even if machines could be more ethical than humans in certain ways and in certain situations, this says nothing about whether warfare that contains these machines would itself be overall more ethical than warfare that does not include them as participants, or whether the inclusion of lethal robots is the best way to guard against human moral transgressions in war. (shrink)
Understanding cooperation and punishment in small-scale societies is crucial for explaining the origins of human cooperation. We studied warfare among the Turkana, a politically uncentralized, egalitarian, nomadic pastoral society in East Africa. Based on a representative sample of 88 recent raids, we show that the Turkana sustain costly cooperation in combat at a remarkably large scale, at least in part, through punishment of free-riders. Raiding parties comprised several hundred warriors and participants are not kin or day-to-day interactants. Warriors incur (...) substantial risk of death and produce collective beneﬁts. Cowardice and desertions occur. (shrink)
The development of chemical warfare by the United States in World War I reveals the chaotic nature of American science in the period, and how attempts to overcome problems helped to establish the modern relationship of military-scientific research.
Abstract Contemporary English and Chinese scholars alike have interpreted Sunzi's Art of War as advocating amoralism in warfare. That charge has a long history in pre-modern China and has not been fully refuted. This essay argues that the alleged amoral Machiavellianism is more appropriate for ancient Qin military thought than for Sunzi. The third chapter of Sunzi's treatise contains a distinctive moral perspective that cannot be found in the military thought of the state of Qin, which succeeded in defeating (...) all other states in the Period of the Warring States. Such a moral perspective contains both ad bellum and in bello norms. I submit that my interpretation of Sunzi's warfare ethics can provide an important resource for the People's Liberation Army of China to construct full-scale just war ethics that is similar to Western understandings. (shrink)
Buddhism has played a significant role in the current global rise in religious nationalism and violence, but the violent aspects of Buddhist tradition have been neglected in the outpouring of academic analyses and case studies of this disturbing trend. This book offers eight essays examining the dark side of a tradition often regarded as the religion of peace. The authors note the conflict between the Buddhist norms of non-violence and the prohibition of the killing of sentient beings and acts of (...) state violence supported by the Buddhist community (sangha), acts of civil violence in which monks participate, and Buddhist intersectarian violence. They consider contemporary and historical cases of Buddhist warfare from a wide range of traditions - Tibetan, Mongolian, Japanese, Chinese, Sri Lankan, and Thai - critically examining both Buddhist textual sources justifying violence and Buddhist actors currently engaged in violence. They draw not only on archival material but interviews with those living and involved in war zones around the world. The book enriches our understanding both of the complexities of the Buddhist tradition and of the violence that is found in virtually all of the world's religious traditions. (shrink)
In order to address whether states can ever have the proper authority to militarily punish other international agents, I examine three attempts to justify punitive warfare from Augustine, Grotius and Locke for their relevance to both our contemporary international legal and political order and our contemporary security threats from sporadic terrorist or militant violence. Once a plausible model for a state’s valid authority to punish international agents is found, I will consider what punitive aims it can support and what (...) challenges such punitive warfare would have in satisfying the remaining jus ad bellum conditions. (shrink)
Prompted by the lack of attention by sociologists and the challenge of materialist explanations of warfare in "precivilized" societies posed by Keeley (1996), this paper tests and finds support for two materialist hypotheses concerning the likelihood of warfare in preindustrial societies: specifically, that, as argued by ecological-evolutionary theory, dominant mode of subsistence is systematically related to rates of warfare; and that, within some levels of technological development, higher levels of "population pressure" are associated with a greater likelihood (...) of warfare. Using warfare measures developed by Ember and Ember (1995), measures of subsistence technology originally developed by Lenski (1966, 1970), and the standard sample of societies developed by Murdock and White (1969), this study finds evidence that warfare is more likely in advanced horticultural and agrarian societies than it is in hunting-and-gathering and simple horticultural societies, and that it is also more likely in hunting-and-gathering and agrarian societies that have above-average population densities. These findings offer substantial support for ecological-evolutionary theory and qualified but intriguing support for "population pressure" as explanations of cross-cultural variation in the likelihood of warfare. (shrink)
I use an explanation of Yanomami warfare given by the anthropologist Brian Ferguson as a case study to compare the merits of the causal and unification approaches to explanation. I argue that Ferguson's insistence on explaining actual occurrences and patterns of Yanomami warfare together with his claim that all of his generalizations are statistical raises difficulties for the unification approach, because of its commitment to "deductive chauvinism." Moreover, I show that there are serious difficulties involved in comparing the (...) "unifying power" of Ferguson's explanations to those of his competitors. I show that the causal approach can provide a rich analysis of Ferguson's explanation while avoiding these difficulties. (shrink)
Abstract I will argue that there are two pervasive and enduring Western attitudes towards warfare: one involves the romanticism of violent conflict, the other concerns moral justification for it. These stand in sharp contrast to the traditional Chinese attitude as put forward in the Chinese classic treatises on warfare, the Sun?tzu and Sun Pin. I will reference similar concerns articulated in the Taoist and, to a lesser extent, Confucian classics both to confirm and clarify this position. Using the (...) combination of some of the most important and influential texts with the most relevant to our topic, I will attempt to identify and explicate what I will call ?the traditional Chinese attitude toward warfare? as a critique of the two widespread Western attitudes. Finally, I will explore the implications of the West abandoning its romantic and moralistic attitudes. (shrink)
UNTIL very recently, the most perplexing mystery of Southwestern archeology -- what caused the collapse of the ancient empire of the Anasazi -- seemed all but solved. Careful scrutiny of tree-ring records seemed to establish that in the late 1200's a prolonged dry spell called the Great Drought drove these people, the ancestors of today's pueblo Indians, to abandon their magnificent stone villages at Mesa Verde and elsewhere on the Colorado Plateau, never to return again.
This article presents historical cases in which Britishscientists, principally scientific advisors, have attempted to defendresearch on biological weapons. Although the historical record is scant,there is a degree of continuity in their justifications, and a number ofthemes can be identified. It was argued, that biological weaponsresearch is morally justified because it produces humane weapons; thatit is no different from medical or other research; and that it is beingperformed for defensive purposes. It is argued that this defence isdirected primarily towards other scientists (...) working on germ warfare, andwas formed part of the `moral economy' of that secretcommunity. (shrink)
This essay provides readers with a critical analysis of the ethnographic sciences and the psychological warfare used by the British and Kenyan colonial regimes during the suppression of the Mau Mau rebellion. In recent years, several survivors of several detention camps set up for Mau Mau suspects during the 1950s have brought cases in British courts, seeking apologies and funds to help those who argue about systematic abuse during the times of “emergency.” The author illustrates that the difficulties confronting (...) Ndiku Mutua and other claimants stem from the historical and contemporary resonance of characterizations of the Mau Mau as devilish figures with deranged minds. The author also argues that while many journalists today have commented on the recovery of “lost” colonial archives and the denials of former colonial administrators, what gets forgotten are the polysemic ways that Carothers, Leakey, and other social agents co-produced all of these pejorative characterizations. Kenyan settlers, administrators, novelists, filmmakers and journalists have helped circulate the commentaries on the “Mau Mau” mind that continue to influence contemporary debates about past injustices. (shrink)
Among the most vexed moral issues in contemporary conflict is the matter of whether irregular forces waging wars of national liberation should be expected to abide by the same jus in bello rules as state actors, even though these rules may prejudice their cause. Is it, in other words, reasonable to demand that irregular forces, including guerrilla groups and national liberation movements, should comport themselves like state armies, even in cases where this would stymie their capacity to effectively pursue their (...) military goals? This article examines Michael Gross’s recent provocative response to this question. Taking Article 44 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions as his point of departure, Gross contends that the laws governing battlefield conduct should be revised to allow irregular forces waging an otherwise just war greater leeway to pursue their cause. Controversially, he extends this concession to the use of qualified terrorist tactics. Focusing on Gross’s use of the notion of a ‘right to a fighting chance’ as a normative grounding for this far-reaching proposition, this article draws on specific historical cases that arose in the context of Ancient Greek warfare to challenge Gross’s position. On a broader note, this article concludes with some remarks to the effect that this foray into the world of Ancient Greek warfare is demonstrative of the critical potential of a historical approach to the ethics of war. (shrink)
It will be argued that the values of liberalism and peace are essential elements of the moral identity of Europe, as well as universal moral values. They will be contrasted to Europe’s history of warfare. An essential point of reference for the moral identity of Europe is going to be sought in Kant’s notions of the “ethical commonwealth” and “perpetual peace”. The link between this identity and cosmopolitanism will be established. In addition to that, the moral superiority of cosmopolitanism (...) vis-à-vis its alternatives will be asserted on the basis of the concept of the “normative will”. This concept is going to be situated in the framework of four paradigmatic formulations of cosmopolitanism. The primary conclusion will be that a pre-condition for the preservation of the moral identity of Europe is a redefinition of the concept of “being European” in the direction of increasing cultural inclusiveness. In other words, Europe is to reformulate its cultural underpinnings in order to preserve its moral identity. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; 1. Religious ethic and the philosophy of warfare in vedic and epic India: 1500 BCE-400 BCE; 2. Buddhism, Jainism, and Asoka's Ahimsa; 3. Kautilya's Kutayaddha: 300 BCE-300 CE; 4. Dharmayuddha and Kutahuddha from the Common Era till the advent of the Turks; 5. Hindu militarism under Islamic Rule: 900 CE-1800 CE; 6. Hindu militarism and anti-militarism in British India: 1750-1947; 7. Hindu military ethos and strategic thought in post-colonial India; Conclusion.
: Virtually nonexistent in traditional American Indian communities, today American Indian women and children experience family violence at rates similar to those of the dominant culture. This article explores violence within American Indian communities as an expression of internalized oppression and as an extension of Euro-American violence against American Indian nations.
In each decade of the nuclear age, philosophers have provided critical reflections on the nature, use, and consequences of nuclear weapons. Frequently, these reflections have addressed the morality of producing, testing, deploying, and using nuclear weapons. Already, these philosophical reflections have passed through four phases and are now entering a fifth phase. The first phase stretches from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima to the above ground nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll. From the initial use of atomic weapons in 1945 to (...) the testing of the hydrogen bomb in 1952, the United States held a virtual monopoly. (The Soviet Union tested its first atomic weapon in 1949, and the United States progressed not only to the development of the hydrogen bomb, but also to a miniaturization of nuclear weapons that spawned even more tactical nuclear weapons than the eventual strategic arsenals of the superpowers.) During the 1950s and 1960s, the second phase shifts to a focus on the above ground testing of the hydrogen bomb, as well as the post war tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. The third phase addresses increasing shifts during the 1970s and 1980s to counterforce weapons and nuclear war fighting strategies. The fourth phase responds to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and to the problems of nuclear proliferation and nuclear deterrence in the post Cold War world, culminating with a critique of the renewal of Star Wars in 2001 under the guise of ballistic missile defense. The first decade of the twenty first century ushers in not only the purported “war against terrorism” by the United States, but also a broader and deeper philosophical response to the interconnections among violence, terrorism, and war. (shrink)
The images from wars in the Middle East that haunt us are those of young women killing and torturing. Their media circulated stories share a sense of shock. They have both galvanized and confounded debates over feminism and women's equality. And, as Oliver argues in this essay, they share, perhaps subliminally, the problematic notion of women as both offensive and defensive weapons of war, a notion that is symptomatic of fears of women's "mysterious" powers.