What is the Classical Theory of Just Cause? a Response to Reichberg

Journal of Military Ethics 12 (4):357-369 (2013)

Authors
Graham Parsons
United States Military Academy
Abstract
Gregory Reichberg’s argument against my reading of the classical just war theorists falsely assumes that if just cause is unilateral, then there is no moral equality of combatants. This assumption is plausible if we assume an individualist framework. However, the classical theorists accepted quasi-Aristotelian, communitarian social ontologies and theories of justice. For them, the political community is ontologically and morally prior to the private individual. The classical just war theorists build their theories within this framework. They argue that just war is only waged by supra-individual political communities for irreducibly social ends. War by private individuals for private ends is always unjust. The ends sought in just war presuppose the justice of a hierarchy of authority over war such that the soldier is obligated to serve in war upon the command of his legitimate authority. In this way, the classical theorists accept a unilateral theory of just cause and a division of authority over war that entails the possibility of the moral equality of combatants.
Keywords Public War  Moral Equality of Combatants  Just Cause  Augustine  Aquinas  Vitoria  Jeff McMahan  Gregory Reichberg
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2013
DOI 10.1080/15027570.2013.870321
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 48,824
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

Killing in War.Jeff McMahan - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
The Morality of War and the Law of War.Jeff McMahan - 2008 - In David Rodin & Henry Shue (eds.), Just and Unjust Warriors: The Moral and Legal Status of Soldiers. Oxford University Press. pp. 19--43.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

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.
Rights, Liability, and the Moral Equality of Combatants.Uwe Steinhoff - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (4):339-366.
Reconnoitering Combatant Moral Equality.Roger Wertheimer - 2007 - Journal of Military Ethics 6 (1):60-74.
Killing in War and Moral Equality.Stephen R. Shalom - 2011 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (4):495-512.
Complicitous Liability in War.Saba Bazargan - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):177-195.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-01-20

Total views
29 ( #328,893 of 2,309,335 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #761,345 of 2,309,335 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature