James E. Taylor As the title of this book makes clear, the essays contained in it are unified by their focus on models of God and alternative ultimate realities. But what is ultimate reality, what does 'God' mean, and what would count as a model ...
The present paper is devoted to a detailed presentation of a new Military Ethics doctrine of fighting terror. It is proposed as an extension of the classical Just War Theory, which has been meant to apply to ordinary international conflicts. Since the conditions of a fight against terror are essentially different from the conditions that are assumed to hold in the classical war (military) paradigm or in the law enforcement (police) paradigm, a third model is needed. The paper proposes such (...) a model in the form of principles that should govern the activity of a democratic state when faced with terror. Eleven principle are proposed. Two are on the level of the state, including the Principle of Self-Defense Duty. Six are related to military preventive acts against activities of terror, including new formulations of a Principle of Military Necessity, a Principle of Distinction, and a Principle of Military Proportionality. Principles of Low Probabilities, Time Span Considerations and Professional Understanding are also included. Finally, three principles that are related to consciousness-directed activities against terror are added: a Principle of Permanent Notice, a Principle of Compensation, and a Principle of Operational Deterrence. The exposition of the principles is accompanied by arguments about their moral justification. The doctrine has been developed on the background of the IDF fight against acts and activities of terror performed by Palestinian individuals and organizations. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to outline a systematic answer to the question of collective autonomy, its conceptual nature and lmimits, and apply it by way of example to the case of the engineering profession.In the first section, it is argued that a professional activity involves systematic knowledge and proficiency, a form of continuous improvement of the related bodies of knowledge and proficiency, as well as two levels of understanding: a local one, which is the ability to justify and (...) explain professional acts, and a global one, which involves a conception of the whole profession and its ethical principles.The second section is devoted to a conceptual analysis of professional ethics. It is argued that it consists of a general conception of professionality, a particular conception of the profession under consideration, and a conception of the normative requirements made by the societal envelope of the professional activity, in particular basic norms of democracy.The third section draws conclusions with respect to the nature and limits of professional autonomy. It is shown that such autonomy is much more restricted than its apparent extent. Examples from engineering and other professions are provided. (shrink)
We are grateful to Professors Nick Fotion, Bashshar Haydar and David L. Perry for their illuminating discussions of our paper, ?Military ethics of fighting terror: An Israeli perspective?, published in the present issue of the Journal of Military Ethics. We also thank the editors of the Journal for allowing us to add the present response. Professors Fotion, Haydar and Perry raise many significant issues. We will, however, presently address just a few of them, leaving the discussion of the other interesting (...) points to other occasions. (shrink)
The purpose of the present document is to briefly present principles that constitute a new doctrine within the sphere of Military Ethics : The Just War Doctrine of Fighting Terror.The doctrine has been developed by a team we have headed at the Israel Defense Force College of National Defense. However, the work has been done on the general levels of moral, ethical and legal considerations that should guide a democratic state when it faces terrorist activities committed against its citizens. Accordingly, (...) the proposed principles are meant to be justified and practically applicable under any parallel circumstances. Moreover, those principles are intended to be universal in the sense that the justification of none of them rests on any particular stance with respect to the desired solution of the conflict under consideration. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to portray the nature of public trust in a military force within a democratic state and explain its importance. On grounds of a general conception of 'profession' and 'professional ethics', it is argued that a military force in a democratic state ought to nurture genuine public trust in itself, to take the form of a commonly or at least very broadly held presumption of proper functioning in all professional respects, including effectiveness, improvement and ethics. (...) It is also argued that external inquiry commissions, sometimes appointed to investigate a recent failure, within the framework of a military force, are counterproductive as attempts to enhance the required public trust. (shrink)
Standing on the shoulders of thinkers who have sought carefully to delineate proper behaviour in armed conflict—not least to distinguish just from illegitimate wars—military ethics is a subdiscipline enjoying renewed interest and, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, increasing practical relevance. It is particularly vibrant and expansive at the moment due to the emergence of novel forms of military activity. Whereas classical warfare involved a near symmetrical encounter between opposing forces, present-day asymmetric conflicts (such as fighting terrorists and insurgents) (...) and other military challenges (such as humanitarian intervention and peacekeeping) raise especially difficult—and often dizzying—ethical issues. As research in and around the area flourishes as never before, this new title in the Routledge Major Works series, Critical Concepts in Philosophy, meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of a rapidly growing and ever more complex corpus of literature. It is a four-volume collection of the best and most influential canonical and cutting-edge research. The first volume (‘Traditions’) assembles the key work on the history of military ethics from a variety of traditions. The second volume collects the most important thinking on the crucial doctrine of a ‘just war’. Volume III (‘New Military Activities’), meanwhile, brings together the best research on topics such humanitarian intervention, peacekeeping, fighting terrorism, and counterinsurgency. The scholarship assembled in the final volume (‘Issues’) focuses on the contentions around military values and virtues. It also collects the best work on the ethcis of dealing with extreme emergencies, deterrence, and torture. With a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editor, which places the material in its historical and intellectual context, Military Ethics is an essential work of reference and is destined to be valued by scholars and students as a vital one-stop research resource. (shrink)
Natural Logic is the science of valid argumentation in natural languages. Every native speaker of any natural language has logical intuitions, pronounceable by his assent or dissent to arguments presented to him in his natural language, like.
IN his recent paper ‘On Concepts of Truth in Natural Languages’  Professor Sommers proposes a new solution to the Liar paradox. He claims that ‘an acceptable natural solution must possess the following two features: Barriers to the Liar paradox are discovered in natural syntax, The natural barriers which keep out the Liar do not also exclude meaningful and harmless linguistic reference’. If we reformulate Sommers’ claim we get the puzzling contention that the natural barriers of a semantic paradox should (...) be looked for in natural syntax. It is puzzling for there is no reason to seek solution of some of the most difficult problems in the semantics of natural languages in the syntax of natural languages. Now, this puzzling air is not due to our introduction of the epithet ‘semantic’ to the Liar paradox. Sommers recognizes the semantic character of the paradox and its solution when he states that the principle which is claimed to be the barrier of the paradox ‘though.… a syntactic principle, the restraints it imposes on natural language are semantic. It sets bounds on the expressive powers of the language by prohibiting certain kinds of state reference or state characterization’. (shrink)