Military service and moral obligation

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 14 (1-4):244 – 266 (1971)
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The author investigates the view that there is a moral obligation to serve in the armed forces of the nation State of which one is a citizen resident (with special reference to young American men at the present time). It is conceded that under current law in this country there may be such a legal obligation, that many men may be obliged to render such service, and that under certain circumstances even a moral obligation to serve may also exist. What is denied is that any of the familiar theories of moral obligation is adequate in existing circumstances to establish this thesis in general. The result is either that a new theory of moral obligation must be developed to fit the current facts, or the present assessment of those facts must be fundamentally revised, or we must concede that draftees and men generally have no such moral obligation of service at all



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Justice as fairness.John Rawls - 1958 - Philosophical Review 67 (2):164-194.
Legal obligation and the duty of fair play.John Rawls - 1964 - In Sidney Hook (ed.), Law and Philosophy. New York University Press.
Legal and moral obligation.H. L. A. Hart - 1958 - In A. I. Melden (ed.), Essays in Moral Philosophy. University of Washington Press.
The concepts of obligation and duty.R. B. Brandt - 1964 - Mind 73 (291):374-393.
Pacifism: A philosophical analysis.Jan Narveson - 1965 - Ethics 75 (4):259-271.

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