Analysis 71 (3):523 (2011)

Abstract
Book review of McMahan J. "Killing in War." Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2009. --- Jeff McMahan’s "Killing in War" is, among many other things, a brief against the traditional just war doctrine of the moral equality of combatants – i.e. the doctrine that all combatants ‘have the same moral status, hence the same moral rights, immunities, and liabilities’, including ‘an equal right to kill’, irrespective of whether the war they fight is just or unjust.1 This book is a powerfully argued, nuanced, comprehensive, relentless and impassioned brief against this doctrine. It wages total war against it, eclipsing all past skirmishes. Yet, at the same time that he rejects the moral equality of combatants, McMahan affirms the ‘legal equality of combatants’, according to which ‘legal rights, liabilities, and immunities of combatants are unaffected by’ the justice or injustice of the war they fight. Not only does McMahan affirm that the legal equality of combatants holds as a matter of fact. He also affirms that such legal equality is morally justified at present. In this article, I shall expose and explore tensions that arise as the result of this uneasy combination of McMahan’s affirmation of the legal equality of combatants and his thoroughgoing rejection of their moral equality.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,291
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rights, Liability, and the Moral Equality of Combatants.Uwe Steinhoff - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (4):339-366.
Public War and the Moral Equality of Combatants.Graham Parsons - 2012 - Journal of Military Ethics 11 (4):2012.
Self-Defense, Punishing Unjust Combatants and Justice in War.Steve Viner - 2010 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 4 (3):297-319.
Reconnoitering Combatant Moral Equality.Roger Wertheimer - 2007 - Journal of Military Ethics 6 (1):60-74.
Complicitous Liability in War.Saba Bazargan - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):177-195.
Killing in War and Moral Equality.Stephen R. Shalom - 2011 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (4):495-512.
The Ethics of Killing in War.Jeff McMahan - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (1):693-733.
Collectivist Defenses of the Moral Equality of Combatants.Jeff McMahan - 2007 - Journal of Military Ethics 6 (1):50-59.
The War Convention and the Moral Division of Labour.Yitzhak Benbaji - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):593-617.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-11-08

Total views
11 ( #855,743 of 2,518,749 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #408,070 of 2,518,749 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes