Tragic Choices

Abstract
Events over the last decade have returned the issue of interrogational torture to one of immediate and urgent concern, as governments attempt to circumvent the constraints of the UN Convention against Torture. Philosophers still favor variants of the ‘ticking bomb’ scenario and view with suspicion, if not incomprehension, any absolutist prohibition of torture. In this paper, I reiterate and develop an absolutist position against interrogational torture, arguing that ‘ticking bomb’ scenarios are ill-considered and offer not what they purport to offer. I further make the case that assumptions behind the pro-torture position, particularly based on positive consequences of interrogational torture, are by no means as clear as apparently imagined, and that such practices challenge the very foundations of our moral lives in their attacks on notions of agency and responsibility. In any such extreme choice like the ones that torture presents, we must weigh what we might gain against what we might lose, and we always lose too much
Keywords Applied Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0739-098X
DOI 10.5840/ijap200519216
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,694
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
The Kantian Case Against Torture.Peter Brian Barry - 2015 - Philosophy 90 (4):593-621.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Tortured Knowledge.Eric M. Rovie - 2009 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (2):315-333.
For Interrogational Torture.Stephen Kershnar - 2005 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 19 (2):223-241.
Torture - the Case for Dirty Harry and Against Alan Dershowitz.Uwe Steinhoff - 2006 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (3):337-353.
The Ticking Time Bomb Case for Torture.Bernard G. Prusak - 2007 - Social Philosophy Today 23:201-209.
Dirty Hands and the Romance of the Ticking Bomb Terrorist: A Humean Account.Christopher J. Finlay - 2011 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (4):421-442.
The Moral Justifiability of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment.Michael Davis - 2005 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 19 (2):161-178.
Ticking Bombs and Interrogations.Claudia Card - 2008 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 2 (1):1-15.
Tortured Ethics.Matthew R. Silliman & David Kenneth Johnson - 2007 - Social Philosophy Today 23:211-222.
Understanding Torture.J. Jeremy Wisnewski - 2010 - Edinburgh University Press.
Added to PP index
2011-01-09

Total downloads
52 ( #104,211 of 2,197,231 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #298,964 of 2,197,231 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature