Authors
Abstract
Just war theory is currently dominated by two positions. According to the orthodox view, provided that jus in bello principles are respected, combatants have an equal right to fight, regardless of the justice of the cause pursued by their state. According to “revisionists” whenever combatants lack reasons to believe that the war they are ordered to fight is just, their duty is to disobey. I argue that when members of a legitimate state acting in good faith are ordered to fight, they acquire a pro-tanto obligation to obey which does not depend for its validity on the justice of the cause being pursued. However, when the war is unjust, this obligation may be overridden, under certain conditions, by the obligation not to contribute to the unjustified killing of innocents. This is because the pro-tanto force of the duty to obey the law is best understood in terms of “presumptive”, rather than “exclusionary” reasons for action. This approach captures the insights of both the orthodox and the revisionist view, while avoiding the problems that afflict each of them.
Keywords Political Authority  Just War Theory  Unjust Wars  Political Obligation  Duty to Obey the Law  Liability to Harm
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/phpr.12487
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.
The morality of freedom.J. Raz - 1988 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (1):108-109.

View all 44 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Costly authority and transferred responsibility.Yitzhak Benbaji - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3579-3595.
Public war and the requirement of legitimate authority.Yuan Yuan - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (1):265-288.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Authority, Oaths, Contracts, and Uncertainty in War.Seth Lazar - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (1):52-58.
The Curious Case of Combatant Culpability.David J. Garren - 2012 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 19 (2):72-80.
Morality and Political Obligation. Y. Satyanarayana - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 3:103-110.
Morality and Political Obligation.Y. V. Satyanarayana - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 3:103-110.
The Responsibility of Soldiers and the Ethics of Killing in War.Yitzhak Benbaji - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):558–572.
Justice and Political Authority in Left-Libertarianism.Fabian Wendt - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (3):316-339.
Samaritanism and Civil Disobedience.Candice Delmas - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (3):295-313.
The Ethics of Killing in War.Jeff McMahan - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (1):693-733.
The Ethics of Killing in War.Jeff McMahan - 2004 - Ethics 114 (4):693-733.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-02-23

Total views
162 ( #73,424 of 2,520,355 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
58 ( #13,832 of 2,520,355 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes