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Jeff Mcmahan [90]Jefferson McMahan [4]
  1. Jeff McMahan, I The Traditional Theory of the Just War.
    The traditional theory of the just war comprises two sets of principles, one governing the resort to war (jus ad bellum) and the other governing the conduct (...)
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  2. Jeff McMahan, Contrasting Approaches to War: Some Thoughts on the Views of Fletcher, Segev, Shany, and Zohar.
    I am greatly honored that these four distinguished moral and legal theorists, who have all made substantial and important contributions to our understanding of the problems with which I am concerned in my book, have been willing to engage themselves so constructively with my arguments. The published book will be significantly better, or less bad, as a result of my having had to address their challenges. I find myself in substantial agreement with much of what each commentator has to say (...)
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  3. Jeff McMahan, Comment on Michael Doyle's Tanner Lectures.
    I find myself in the awkward position – awkward, that is, for a commentator – of agreeing with virtually all aspects of Michael Doyle’s powerful critique of what international law and current US doctrine imply about preventive war, and with most of his constructive suggestions for a new set of laws, institutions, and policies for addressing threats to national and international security that seem both real and serious but are not imminent. Yet, although what he says is largely right, there (...)
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  4. Jeff McMahan, Hobbesian Defenses of Orthodox Just War Theory.
    Most of us accept that all persons have a right not to be killed, unless they forfeit or, perhaps, waive it. According to the currently dominant understanding of the just war, civilians retain the protection of this right in conditions of war but combatants do not. On one view, combatants forfeit the right by posing a threat to others; on another view, they waive it when they accept combatant status, which requires that they identify themselves visually and in other ways (...)
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  5. Jeff McMahan, Je¤ McMahan.
    How does one explain an interest in ethics? In my case the interest has never been “intellectual” or “academic.” I have never been drawn to metaethics. Rather, I have always been aware that there’s a lot wrong in the world and I have wanted to do what I could to help put it right. I grew up in the American south during the years of the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. That gave me a lot to think about. (...)
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  6. Jeff McMahan, 1 Patterns in the History of Ideas.
    There is a general presumption that the law should be congruent with morality – that is, that the prohibitions and permissions in the law should correspond to the prohibitions and permissions of morality. And indeed in most areas of domestic law, and perhaps especially in the criminal law, the elements of the law do in general derive more or less directly from the requirements of morality. I will argue in this essay, however, that this correspondence with morality does not and (...)
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  7. Jeff McMahan, Précis: The Morality and Law of War.
    The following commentaries are responses to the rough drafts of six lectures — the Hourani Lectures—that I delivered at the University of Buffalo in November of 2006. This draft manuscript is being extensively revised and expanded for publication by Oxford University Press as a book called The Morality and Law of War. Even though in January 2007 the book was still both unpolished and incomplete, David Enoch at that time generously organized a workshop at the Law School of the Hebrew (...)
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  8. Jeff McMahan, Preventive War and the Killing of the Innocent.
    The United Nations Charter prohibits states to use force against other states except in ‘individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs’.1 In the past, it may have seemed reasonable to insist that permissible defence must await the actual occurrence of an armed attack. Because war is usually disastrous for all concerned and to be avoided if at all possible, and because successful defence has often been at least possible against a military attack, it may not be imprudent for (...)
     
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  9. Jeff McMahan, The Lucretian Argument.
    Lucretius wrote: “Look back at the eternity that passed before we were born, and mark how utterly it counts to us as nothing. This is a mirror that Nature holds up to us, in which we may see the time that shall be after we are dead. Is there anything terrifying in the sight – anything depressing – anything that is not more restful than the soundest sleep?”1 The argument is repeated, a couple of millennia later, by Vladimir Nabokov, who (...)
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  10. Jeff Mcmahan, The Morality of Military Occupation.
    The U.S. military has now occupied Iraq for more than five years. This is a long time for one state to impose a military occupation on another. But of course the American occupation of Iraq seems almost momentary by comparison with Israel’s fortyone-year occupation of Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza. Considering how controversial both these occupations have been, one would expect them to have elicited a substantial body of thought about the moral dimensions of the practice of (...)
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  11. Jeff McMahan, 6. War, Terrorism, and the `War on Terror'.
    Most of us agree that terrorism is always, or almost always, wrong, which is hardly surprising, since the word is generally used to express disapproval. If an act of which we approve has features characteristic of terrorism, we will be careful to deny that it is in fact an act of terrorism. For example, those who believe that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally justified tend to deny that they were instances of terrorism. So while we agree that (...)
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  12. Jeff McMahan, War, Terrorism, and the “War on Terror”.
    To avoid misunderstanding, I will say at the outset what I understand terrorism to be. Acts of terrorism are intentional efforts to kill or seriously harm innocent people as a means of affecting other members of a group with which the immediate victims are identified.i Usually the aim is to terrorize and intimidate the other members as a means of achieving some political or broadly ideological goal, though the aim might be different: it might, for example, be to punish or (...)
     
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  13. Jeff McMahan (forthcoming). Proportionality and Time. Ethics 125 (3):696-719,.
    Proportionality in the resort to war determines a limit to the amount of harm it can be permissible to cause for the sake of achieving a just cause. It seems to follow that if a war has caused harm up to that limit but has not achieved the just cause, it should be terminated. I argue, however, that this is a mistake. Judgments of proportionality are entirely prospective and harms suffered or inflicted in the past should in general be ignored. (...)
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  14. Jeff McMahan (2013). Causing People to Exist and Saving People's Lives. Journal of Ethics 17 (1-2):5-35.
    Most people are skeptical of the claim that the expectation that a person would have a life that would be well worth living provides a reason to cause that person to exist. In this essay I argue that to cause such a person to exist would be to confer a benefit of a noncomparative kind and that there is a moral reason to bestow benefits of this kind. But this conclusion raises many problems, among which is that it must be (...)
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  15. Jeff McMahan (2013). Genetic Modification of Characteristic Masculine Traits: Enhancement or Deformity? Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (12):736-740.
    Some philosophers, most notably Julian Savulescu, have argued that potential parents have a moral reason to do what they can to have a child with the highest expected level of well-being.1 This is not just a reason to do what will make a particular child better off than he or she would otherwise be but also a reason to choose, from among different possible children, the one that has the highest expected well-being. The claim that potential parents have such a (...)
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  16. Jeff Mcmahan (2012). Individual Liability in War: A Response to Fabre, Leveringhaus and Tadros. Utilitas 24 (02):278-299.
    This article is a response to commentaries on my book, Killing in War, by Cécile Fabre, Alex Leveringhaus and Victor Tadros. It discusses the implications of the approach I have defended for the morality of war for such issues as internecine killing in war, humanitarian intervention and the bases of individual liability to attack in war.
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  17. Jeff Mcmahan (2011). Summary. [REVIEW] Analysis 71 (3):511 - 512.
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  18. Jeff McMahan (2011). Duty, Obedience, Desert, and Proportionality in War: A Response. Ethics 122 (1):135-167.
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  19. Jeff McMahan (2011). Proportionality in the Afghanistan War. Ethics and International Affairs 25 (2):143-154.
    Some of the questions Professor Miller addresses are concerned with proportionality, a notion whose complexities are only beginning to be appreciated. My modest ambition in this comment is to try to sharpen these questions and provide some assistance in thinking about them.
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  20. Richard W. Miller, George R. Lucas Jr, Jeff McMahan, Darrel Moellendorf, Enabling Monsters, Fernando R. Tesón, Ending War, David Rodin, Global Democratization & John S. Dryzek (2011). Carnegie Council. Ethics and International Affairs 25.
     
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  21. Tim Campbell & Jeff McMahan (2010). Animalism and the Varieties of Conjoined Twinning. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (4):285-301.
    We defend the view that we are not identical to organisms against the objection that it implies that there are two subjects of every conscious state one experiences: oneself and one’s organism. We then criticize animalism—the view that each of us is identical to a human organism—by showing that it has unacceptable implications for a range of actual and hypothetical cases of conjoined twinning: dicephalus, craniopagus parasiticus, and cephalopagus.
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  22. N. Ann Davis, Richard Keshen & Jeff McMahan (eds.) (2010). Ethics and Humanity: Themes From the Philosophy of Jonathan Glover. Oxford University Press.
    Ethics and Humanity pays to tribute to Jonathan Glover, a pioneering figure whose thought and personal influence have had a significant impact on applied ...
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  23. Jeff McMahan (2010). Animalism and the Varieties of Conjoined Twinning. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (4):285-301.
    We defend the view that we are not identical to organisms against the objection that it implies that there are two subjects of every conscious state one experiences: oneself and one’s organism. We then criticize animalism—the view that each of us is identical to a human organism—by showing that it has unacceptable implications for a range of actual and hypothetical cases of conjoined twinning: dicephalus, craniopagus parasiticus, and cephalopagus.
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  24. Jeff Mcmahan (2010). 20 Cognitive Disability and Cognitive Enhancement Jeff McMahan. In Eva Feder Kittay & Licia Carlson (eds.), Cognitive Disability and its Challenge to Moral Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell 345.
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  25. Jeff McMahan (2010). Pacifism and Moral Theory. Diametros 23:44-68.
    There is a nonabsolute or “contingent” form of pacifism that claims that war in contemporary conditions inevitably involves the killing of innocent people on a scale that is too great to be justified. Some contingent pacifists argue that war always involves a risk that virtually everyone that one might kill is innocent – either because one can never be sure that one’s cause is just or because even most of those who fight in wars that lack a just cause are (...)
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  26. Jeff McMahan (2010). Part II: War. The Consequences of War / Thomas Hurka ; Humanitarian Intervention, Consent, and Proportionality. In N. Ann Davis, Richard Keshen & Jeff McMahan (eds.), Ethics and Humanity: Themes From the Philosophy of Jonathan Glover. Oxford University Press
  27. Jeff Mcmahan (2010). Responsibility, Permissibility, and Vicarious Agency. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3):673-680.
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  28. Jeff Mcmahan (2010). The Just Distribution of Harm Between Combatants and Noncombatants. Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (4):342-379.
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  29. Jeff McMahan (2010). The Laws of War. In Samantha Besson & John Tasioulas (eds.), The Philosophy of International Law. OUP Oxford
     
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  30. Jeff McMahan (2009). Asymmetries in the Morality of Causing People to Exist. In David Wasserman & Melinda Roberts (eds.), Harming Future Persons. Springer 49--68.
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  31. Jeff Mcmahan (2009). Cognitive Disability and Cognitive Enhancement. Metaphilosophy 40 (3-4):582-605.
  32. Jeff McMahan (2009). Humanitarian Intervention, Consent, and Proportionality. In N. Ann Davis, Richard Keshen & Jeff McMahan (eds.), Ethics and Humanity: Themes From the Philosophy of Jonathan Glover. Oxford University Press
    However much one may wish for nonviolent solutions to the problems of unjust and unrestrained human violence that Glover explores in Humanity, some of those problems at present require violent responses. One cannot read his account of the Clinton administration’s campaign to sabotage efforts to stop the massacre in Rwanda in 1994 – a campaign motivated by fear that American involvement would cost American lives and therefore votes – without concluding that Glover himself believes that military intervention was morally required (...)
     
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  33. Jeff McMahan (2009). Intention, Permissibility, Terrorism, and War. Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):345-372.
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  34. Jeff McMahan (2009/2011). Killing in War. Oxford University Press.
    Jeff McMahan urges us to reject the view, dominant throughout history, that mere participation in an unjust war is not wrong.
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  35. Jeff McMahan (2009). Radical Cognitive Limitation. In Kimberley Brownlee & Adam Cureton (eds.), Disability and Disadvantage. OUP Oxford
     
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  36. Jeff Mcmahan (2009). 9.1. The Radically Cognitively Limited. In Kimberley Brownlee & Adam Cureton (eds.), Disability and Disadvantage. Oxford University Press
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  37. Jeff McMahan (2008). Aggression and Punishment. In Larry May & Emily Crookston (eds.), War: Essays in Political Philosophy. Cambridge University Press
     
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  38. Jeff McMahan (2008). Challenges to Human Equality. Journal of Ethics 12 (1):81 - 104.
    According to liberal egalitarian morality, all human beings are one another's moral equals. Nonhuman animals, by contrast, are not considered to be our moral equals. This essay considers two challenges to the liberal egalitarian view. One is the ``separation problem,'' which is the challenge to identify a morally significant intrinsic difference between all human beings and all nonhuman animals. The other is the “equality problem,” which is to explain how all human beings can be morally equal when there are some (...)
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  39. Jeff McMahan (2008). Debate: Justification and Liability in War. Journal of Political Philosophy 16 (2):227–244.
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  40. Jeff McMahan (2008). Torture in Principle and in Practice. Public Affairs Quarterly 22 (2):91-108.
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  41. Jeff McMahan (2008). The Morality of War and the Law of War. In David Rodin & Henry Shue (eds.), Just and Unjust Warriors: The Moral and Legal Status of Soldiers. OUP Oxford 19--43.
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  42. Jeff McMahan (2007). Collectivist Defenses of the Moral Equality of Combatants. Journal of Military Ethics 6 (1):50-59.
  43. Jeff McMahan (2007). The Sources and Status of Just War Principles. Journal of Military Ethics 6 (2):91-106.
    Michael Walzer presents the theory of the just war that he develops in Just and Unjust Wars as a set of principles governing the initiation and conduct of war that are entailed by respect for the moral rights of individuals. I argue in this essay that some of the principles he defends do not and cannot derive from the basic moral rights of individuals and indeed, in some cases, explicitly permit the violation of those rights. I argue, further, that it (...)
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  44. Jeff McMahan (2007). Infanticide. Utilitas 19 (2):131-159.
    It is sometimes suggested that if a moral theory implies that infanticide can sometimes be permissible, that is sufficient to discredit the theory. I argue in this article that the common-sense belief that infanticide is wrong, and perhaps even worse than the killing of an adult, is challenged not so much by theoretical considerations as by common-sense beliefs about abortion, the killing of non-human animals, and so on. Because there are no intrinsic differences between premature infants and viable fetuses, it (...)
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  45. Jeff McMahan (2007). Justice and Liability in Organ Allocation. Social Research: An International Quarterly 74 (1):101-124.
    This essay argues that considerations of justice that govern the morality of self-defense are also relevant in some cases in which organs are allocated for transplantation in conditions of scarcity. The essay's main substantive claim is that in general alcoholics are morally liable to be assigned a lower priority in the distribution of livers for transplantation because of their own responsibility for their need for a transplant. There are, however, practical obstacles to giving lower priority in the distribution of medical (...)
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  46. Jeff Mcmahan (2007). Killing Embryos for Stem Cell Research. Metaphilosophy 38 (2-3):170–189.
    The main objection to human embryonic stem cell research is that it involves killing human embryos, which are essentially beings of the same sort that you and I are. This objection presupposes that we once existed as early embryos and that we had the same moral status then that we have now. This essay challenges both those presuppositions, but focuses primarily on the first. I argue first that these presuppositions are incompatible with widely accepted beliefs about both assisted conception and (...)
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  47. Jeff Mcmahan (2007). 1. Thinking About the Unthinkable. Utilitas 19 (2).
  48. Jeff McMahan (2006). Alternative to Brain Death. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 34 (1):44-48.
    This article criticizes a range of assumptions that proponents of brain death usually share. It argues that one of the main contentions made in defense of brain death – that the brain is necessary for integrated functioning in a human organism – is mistaken. It then sketches an alternative account of human death that distinguishes between the biological death of a human organism and the death or ceasing to exist of a person.
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  49. Jeff McMahan (2006). Killing in War: A Reply to Walzer. Philosophia 34 (1):47-51.
    Michael Walzer suggests that our common beliefs about individual responsibility and liability become largely irrelevant in the conduct of war. In conditions of war, everything is changed. Political realists have claimed that war eliminates morality; Walzer claims that war collectivizes it. I believe that conditions of war change nothing at all; they simply make it more difficult to ascertain relevant facts. This is not to say that the principles and laws that do or should govern the activity of war are (...)
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  50. Jeff McMahan (2006). Liability and Collective Identity: A Response to Walzer. Philosophia 34 (1):13-17.
    There is much to admire in Michael Walzer’s discussion of terrorism and just war. I particularly applaud his insistence that liability to attack is a matter of action rather than membership or collective identity. “It is,” he writes, “the extension of violence or the threat..
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