The Morality of Terrorism

Philosophy 60 (231):47-69 (1985)
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Abstract

There is a strong tendency in the scholarly and sub-scholarly literature on terrorism to treat it as something like an ideology. There is an equally strong tendency to treat it as always immoral. Both tendencies go hand in hand with a considerable degree of unclarity about the meaning of the term ‘terrorism’. I shall try to dispel this unclarity and I shall argue that the first tendency is the product of confusion and that once this is understood, we can see, in the light of a more definite analysis of terrorism, that the second tendency raises issues of inconsistency, and even hypocrisy. Finally, I shall make some tentative suggestions about what categories of target may be morally legitimate objects of revolutionary violence, and I shall discuss some lines of objection to my overall approach.

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Citations of this work

Is Terrorism Morally Distinctive?Samuel Scheffler - 2006 - Journal of Political Philosophy 14 (1):1-17.
Terrorism.Igor Primoratz - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Idealist Origins: 1920s and Before.Martin Davies & Stein Helgeby - 2014 - In Graham Oppy & Nick Trakakis (eds.), History of Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp. 15-54.
How to Define Terrorism.Jenny Teichman - 1989 - Philosophy 64 (250):505 - 517.

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