The art of war corpus and chinese just war ethics past and present

Journal of Religious Ethics 40 (3):404-446 (2012)
The idea of “just war” is not alien to Chinese thought. The term “yi zhan” (usually translated as “just war” or “righteous war” in English) is used in Mencius, was renewed by Mao Zedong, and is still being used in China today (zhengyi zhanzheng). The best place to start exploring this Chinese idea is in the enormous Art of War corpus in premodern China, of which the Seven Military Classics is the best representative. This set of treatises served as the military bible in imperial China from 1078 CE. Ideas analogous to ius ad bellum and ius in bello can be found in these texts. These norms are present in these military texts, elaborated in subsequent commentaries, understood as a matter of fact in Chinese political history, and recently and briefly acknowledged by a few Chinese military scholars in the mainland and in Taiwan. This Chinese just war ethics has its distinctiveness vis-à-vis James Turner Johnson's articulation of the Western classic view. It differs from Johnson's claims that military lethal violence is intrinsically morally neutral and that last resort is not a primary consideration in deciding for war. Contemporary Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) military publications show that the PLA understands the general idea of just war, but they acknowledge only the ad bellum part, not the in bello components
Keywords ius in bello  Art of War  just war  ius ad bellum  People's Liberation Army  Seven Military Classics  James Turner Johnson
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2012.00530.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,453
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

9 ( #439,738 of 1,925,262 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #418,201 of 1,925,262 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.