Philosophical Forum 46 (1):71-89 (2015)

Richard Adams
University of New South Wales
The jus ad bellum doctrine of legitimate authority, conceived by St. Augustine and evolved by St. Thomas Aquinas, that a sovereign might identify a just cause and declare war without reference to the nation’s soldiers or citizens, continues to inform thinking about just war. Contesting this claim, the present paper reasons that without the moral confidence of the soldiers who serve, no conflict can be justified. The paper claims that soldiers have relevant and important ideas about the justice of the cause. Soldiers, who enlist in order to advance justice by just means, deserve the chance to fight and perhaps to die with the fully formed moral assurance that their cause is right.
Keywords Aquinas  democracy  global justice  just war  legitimate authority  public policy  Rawls
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DOI 10.1111/phil.12056
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