Just War and Graduated Discrimination


Authors
Christopher H. Toner
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota
Abstract
Th is paper investigates the question of legitimate targets in war and the traditional jus in bello principle of discrimination, which is generally interpreted to mean that a bright line must be drawn between combatants and noncombatants, and that only the former may be attacked directly.Michael Walzer and John Rawls have proposed a “supreme emergency exemption” to this principle, which permits the targeting of innocent people in emergencies such as that of Britain in late 1940. Rejecting this, the paper offers as an alternative a principleof “graduated discrimination.” This principle distinguishes three classes: innocents, combatants, and noncombatant belligerents (noncombatants are belligerent if they contribute directly to the enemy’s war effort). It holds that the bright line must still be drawn, but between innocents and belligerents, and that, among the latter, noncombatants may be attacked in severe conditions—even, in supreme emergencies, if their belligerent role is simply providing the regime with a popular mandate
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 1051-3558
DOI 10.5840/acpq200478446
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The Logical Structure of Just War Theory.Christopher Toner - 2010 - Journal of Ethics 14 (2):81-102.

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