A number of philosophers and legal scholars have pointed out a fact about punishment that had not been sufficiently appreciated by many traditional accounts, utilitarian, retributive, or ‘mixed’: that evil inflicted on the person punished is not an evil simpliciter , but rather the expression of an important social message—that punishment is a kind of language. The message which it is seen to communicate can broadly be described as condemnation by society of the crime committed. In what is still the (...) only attempt at a general and critical discussion— Anthony Skillen's ‘How to say Things with Walls’—this way of understanding punishment is termed ‘expressionism’. In this paper I propose to sort out the main varieties of expressionism in the philosophy of punishment, and to discuss some of their pros and cons. (shrink)
The liberal view that valid consent is sufficient for a sex act to be morally legitimate is challenged by three major philosophies of sex: the Catholic view of sex as ordained for procreation and properly confined to marriage, the romantic view of sex as bound up with love, and the radical feminist analysis of sex in our society as part and parcel of the domination of women by men. I take a critical look at all three, focusing on Mary Geach''s (...) recent statement of the procreation view, Roger Scruton''s theory of sexual desire as naturally evolving into intimacy and love, and several radical feminist discussions of sex in sexist society which argue that the notion of consent is unhelpful and, indeed, irrelevant. I argue that none of these lines of argument is convincing, and that consent remains the touchstone of morally permissible sex – although, dmittedly, it may not be very helpful in discussing ideals of human sexuality. (shrink)
ABSTRACT My aim in this paper is not to try to formulate the meaning the word ‘terrorism’has in ordinary use; the word is used in so many different, even incompatible ways, that such an enterprise would quickly prove futile. My aim is rather to try for a definition that captures the trait, or traits, of terrorism which cause most of us to view it with moral repugnance. I discuss the following questions: Is the historical connection of terrorism with terror to (...) be preserved on the conceptual level, or relegated to the psychology and sociology of terrorism? Does mere infliction of terror qualify as terrorism, so that we can speak of non‐violent terrorism? If terrorism is a type of violence, does it have to be against persons, or should violence against property also count? In what sense can terrorism be described as indiscriminate violence? Should we use the word only in a political context? In such a context, can we speak of ‘state terrorism’, or should the word be restricted to actions not sanctioned by law? Is the terrorist necessarily oblivious to moral considerations, as those who define terrorism in terms of antinomianism imply? My answers to these questions lead up to the following definition: terrorism is the deliberate use of violence, or threat of its use, against innocent people, with the aim of intimidating them, or other people, into a course of action they otherwise would not take. (shrink)
Ethics and Sex presents a systematic study of the nature and moral significance of human sexuality and of the major issues in sexual morality. The book is divided into two main parts. Part One gives a critical analysis of the key conceptions of human sexuality. Part Two discusses the most important issues in sexual morality: monogamy; adultery; prostitution; homosexuality; paedophilia; sexual harassment and rape. In this controversial and accessible book, the author demonstrates that many of the prohibitions that make up (...) conventional sexual morality cannot withstand critical scrutiny. (shrink)
In his widely influential statement of just war theory, Michael Walzer exempts conscripted soldiers from all responsibility for taking part in war, whether just or unjust (the thesis of the moral equality of soldiers). He endows the overwhelming majority of civilians with almost absolute immunity from military attack on the ground that they aren't responsible for the war their country is waging, whether just or unjust. I argue that Walzer is much too lenient on both soldiers and civilians. Soldiers fighting (...) for a just cause and soldiers fighting for an unjust one are not morally equal. A substantial proportion of civilians in a democracy are responsible, to a significant degree, for their country's unjust war. Moreover, under certain (admittedly rare) circumstances, some of them are legitimate targets of military attack. This has bearing on settling moral accounts in the wake of war and the issue of forgiving the wrongs done in its course: possible candidates for such forgiveness are much more numerous than is usually assumed. (shrink)
Though the average person may take patriotism for granted as a natural feeling of loyalty to one's country, among philosophers the nature, moral standing, and political significance of patriotism have always been contentious. On the one hand, there are those who defend patriotic loyalty as either a duty or a virtue and extol it as an indispensable condition of a viable polity. On the other hand, critics of patriotism maintain that it is morally suspect to prefer one's country and compatriots, (...) and doing so offends against impartial justice and hinders universal human solidarity. Today patriotism is a topic of debate not only in moral philosophy but also in political theory, where it is often brought up as a test case in the confrontation between liberals and communitarians. These debates have produced much high-quality writing, the best of which is here presented in this wide-ranging collection of essays by philosophers and political theorists. All the main varieties of patriotism are coveredmoderate and extreme, as well as ethnic/cultural and politicaland both critics and defenders are given a hearing. Editor Igor Primoratz has also included articles that discuss the history of the term in moral and political discourse in the English-speaking world, the distinctively American type of patriotism, the relation of patriotism to nationalism and racism, and the tension between patriotism and universal human solidarity, especially as this issue relates to foreign aid. As the first anthology to treat patriotism in its own right, this work emphasizes that patriotism is a distinct moral and political outlook, and is not merely a variety of nationalism or the emotional underpinning of nationalist theories. As such, it will be an important resource for courses in philosophy and political science, and will also serve as an accessible general reader for the interested layperson. (shrink)
_Ethics and Sex_ presents a systematic study of the nature and moral significance of human sexuality and of the major issues in sexual morality. The book is divided into two main parts. Part One gives a critical analysis of the key conceptions of human sexuality. Part Two discusses the most important issues in sexual morality: monogamy; adultery; prostitution; homosexuality; paedophilia; sexual harassment and rape. In this controversial and accessible book, the author demonstrates that many of the prohibitions that make up (...) conventional sexual morality cannot withstand critical scrutiny. (shrink)
I first distinguish patriotism from nationalism. The kind of patriotism that provides the last refuge to the scoundrel is put aside as not to the point. I then develop a typology of positions on the moral standing of patriotism that includes extreme patriotism that trumps moral considerations that conflict with it, extreme patriotism understood as the central moral virtue, moderate patriotism, patriotism as a morally indifferent preference, and a distinctively ethical version of patriotism. I argue that is clearly morally unacceptable; (...) concur with the critics of that it, too, must be rejected; agree with the defenders of that it is a distinctive and morally legitimate position, but go on to argue that there is nothing to be said for it, morally speaking, and that it is therefore a morally indifferent preference; finally, I present as a different type of patriotism which, under some fairly common circumstances, may be a moral duty. (shrink)
Any plausible position in the ethics of war and political violence in general will include the requirement of protection of civilians (non-combatants, common citizens) against lethal violence. This requirement is particularly prominent, and particularly strong, in just war theory. Some adherents of the theory see civilian immunity as absolute, not to be overridden in any circumstances whatsoever. Others allow that it may be overridden, but only in extremis. The latter position has been advanced by Michael Walzer under the heading of (...) “supreme emergency.” In this paper, I look into some of the issues of interpretation and application of Walzer’s “supreme emergency” view and some of the criticisms that have been levelled against it. I argue that Walzer’s view is vague and unacceptable as it stands, but that the alternatives proposed by critics such as Brian Orend, C.A.J. Coady, and Stephen Nathanson are also unattractive. I go on to construct a position that is structurally similar to Walzer’s, but more specific and much less permissive, which I term the “moral disaster” view. According to this view, deliberate killing of civilians is almost absolutely wrong. (shrink)
The protection of noncombatants from deadly violence is the centrepiece of any account of ethical and legal constraints on war. It was a major achievement of moral progress from early modern times to World War I. Yet it has been under constant attrition since - perhaps never more so than in our time, with its 'new wars', the spectre of weapons of mass destruction, and the global terrorism alert. -/- Civilian Immunity in War, written in collaboration by eleven authors, provides (...) the first comprehensive analysis of all main aspects of this highly topical subject. It considers the arguments for rejection of civilian immunity and the main theories of the grounds and proper scope of this immunity, both deontological (just war theory) and consequentialist. Separate chapters examine the historical development of the idea of civilian immunity, its standing in current international law, and the problem of "collateral damage": of harming civilians without intent, as a side-effect of attacks on military targets. The volume also addresses a string of specific issues. Civilian immunity has undergone much attrition with the development of air warfare and the tendency of military conflict to degenerate into "total" war. On the other hand, modern military technology with its precision guidance missiles and "smart" bombs opens up the possibility of restricting deadly violence to its proper targets and staying clear of civilian life, limb, and property. Another pressing issue is the fate of women in war in light of mass rapes characteristic of some 'new wars'. (shrink)
This is the first comprehensive discussion of all the main philosophical issues raised by terrorism against the background of its past and recent developments. Prominent philosophers discuss definitions of terrorism, approaches to its moral evaluation, and the contentious subject of state terrorism. Also included are four case studies, showing how the concepts and arguments philosophers deploy in discussing violence, war and terrorism apply to particular instances of both insurgent and state terrorism, ranging from World War II to September 11, 2001.
In this paper (a sequel to ‘What Is Terrorism?’, Journal of Applied Philosophy, vol. 7 [ 1990]) I discuss both consequentialist and deontological justifications of terrorism. In the consequentialist context, I look in particular into Leon Trotsky’s classic defence of the ‘red terror’, based on the argument of continuity of war, revolution, and terrorism, and the claim that the distinction between the guilty and the innocent, combatants and noncombatants, is not relevant to modern warfare. On the deontological side, I discuss (...) Virginia Held’s recent attempt at justifying terrorism in terms of basic human rights and distributive justice. The conclusion reached is that terrorism remains almost absolutely morally impermissible. (shrink)
Defining terrorism -- State terrorism and counterterrorism -- Complicity of the victims -- The consequences of terrorism -- Terrorism, rights, and justice -- Terrorism, supreme emergency, and moral disaster -- Is terrorism morally distinctive? -- Case study : terror bombing of German cities -- Case study : terrorism in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The protection of noncombatants from deadly violence is the centrepiece of any account of ethical and legal constraints on war. It was a major achievement of moral progress from early modern times to World War I. Yet it has been under constant attrition since - perhaps never more so than in our time, with its 'new wars', the spectre of weapons of mass destruction, and the global terrorism alert. Civilian Immunity in War, written in collaboration by eleven authors, provides the (...) first comprehensive analysis of all main aspects of this highly topical subject. It considers the arguments for rejection of civilian immunity and the main theories of the grounds and proper scope of this immunity, both deontological and consequentialist. Separate chapters examine the historical development of the idea of civilian immunity, its standing in current international law, and the problem of "collateral damage": of harming civilians without intent, as a side-effect of attacks on military targets. The volume also addresses a string of specific issues. Civilian immunity has undergone much attrition with the development of air warfare and the tendency of military conflict to degenerate into "total" war. On the other hand, modern military technology with its precision guidance missiles and "smart" bombs opens up the possibility of restricting deadly violence to its proper targets and staying clear of civilian life, limb, and property. Another pressing issue is the fate of women in war in light of mass rapes characteristic of some 'new wars'. (shrink)
I discuss five lines of argument for the claim that prostitution is wrong: (1) the condemnation of prostitution by positive morality; (2) paternalist objections to it; (3) the claim that some things just aren't for sale and that sex is one of them, which is based either on the view of sex as essentially tied to procreation and marriage, or on the conception of sex as bound up with love; (4) the radical feminist critique of prostitution as a practice that (...) degrades women, and (5) is implicated in the oppression of women. I try to show that none of these objections is valid, and that we still lack a good argument to support the widespread condemnation of prostitution. (shrink)
This collection of essays is presented as offering the first real philosophical and legal treatment of the Principle of Non-Combatant Immunity. Primoratz's own essay serves as a useful summary of some of the most influential attempts to rule in all, but only, combatants as legitimate military targets. However, this will feel like very familiar territory to those already working in Just War Theory, as will Uwe Steinhoff's essay, which surveys the same positions. Several of the essays are expositional rather than (...) analytical in nature, tracing the historical roots of the PNI. Whilst providing an undeniably interesting journey through early Just War thought, these parts of the volume might feel less than gripping to those looking for engaging philosophical argument.However, the collection is certainly not without such argument. Seamus Miller's essay offers a thorough and thought-provoking account of why certain groups of civilians should not be granted immunity from military force. Using the model of the forced …. (shrink)
A timely contribution from prominent philosophers to the public debate about morality and politics, exploring the fundamental problem of their relation and a string of specific issues. Is political morality more permissive of deception, manipulation and violence? Is there room for morality in international relations? Is patriotism a virtue? What are the moral costs of policies that keep out most of those seeking immigration or asylum? May we use torture in the 'war on terror'? What are the moral hazards of (...) military obedience? (shrink)
Recent developments such as the 'new wars' or the growing privatisation of warfare, and the ever more sophisticated military technology, present the military with difficult ethical challenges. This book offers a selection of the best scholarly articles on military ethics published in recent decades. It gives a hearing to all the main ethical approaches to war: just war theory, consequentialism, and pacifism. Part I includes essays on justice of war (jus ad bellum), focussing on defence against aggression and humanitarian armed (...) intervention, but also addressing topics such as conscientious objection and the relation of patriotism to war. Articles in Part II deal with the central problems of justice in war (jus in bello): civilian immunity and 'collateral damage' to civilian life and property. Essays in Part III look into the moral issues facing the military as a profession, such as the civil - military relations, the responsibilities of officers to their soldiers and to their military superiors, and the status and responsibilities of prisoners of war. (shrink)
In der philosophischen Literatur finden sich eine ganze Reihe von Positionen zur Definition und zur moralischen Bewertung von Terrorismus. Die meisten Philosophen definieren Terrorismus als eine Form politischer Gewalt. Viele heben die Angsterfahrung der Opfer hervor, die das erste Ziel der Gewalt ist, und unterscheiden sie von weiteren Zielen wie Nötigung oder politischen Veränderungen. In Bezug auf die moralische Bewertung von Terrorismus herrscht Uneinigkeit sowohl was die Grundlage der Bewertung angeht, als auch hinsichtlich des Urteils selbst. Konsequenzialisten bewerten Terrorismus, wie (...) auch andere Handlungen, im Licht seiner Konsequenzen. Deontologen argumentieren hingegen, dass die moralische Bewertung nicht von den Folgen abhängt, sondern vor allem davon, was Terrorismus ausmacht. Folglich schwanken die Positionen zur Moralität von Terrorismus von seiner Rechtfertigung bis hin zu seiner vollkommenen Verurteilung. All diese Positionen kommen in diesem Band zu Wort, der eine Auswahl an philosophischen und politikwissenschaftlichen Essays aus den letzten drei Jahrzehnten versammelt. Die praktische Bedeutung des Themas muss nicht betont werden. Aber Terrorismus ist auch von großem theoretischen Interesse. Denn er liefert eine besonders dramatische Fassung der Frage der Legitimität politischer Gewalt. Und er spitzt eine grundlegende ethische Frage beispielhaft zu: Sollen basale ethische Verbote wie das Verbot des Tötens oder Verstümmelns Unschuldiger als absolute Verbote angesehen werden, oder können sie in Ausnahmefällen angesichts extrem gewichtiger Konsequenzen überschrieben werden? (shrink)
Igor Primoratz presents eleven specially written essays on ethical, political, and legal issues surrounding the involvement of non-combatants in armed conflict. Written in a clear and non-technical style, this volume will appeal to students and researchers in philosophy, politics, and law, and to anyone interested in the ethics and legality of war.
Die Terrorbombardierungen deutscher Städte gehören immer noch zu den umstrittensten Themen des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Der Beitrag diskutiert die Hauptstränge ihrer moralischen Rechtfertigung: als sicheren Weg, menschliches Leid im Krieg gleichmäßiger zu verteilen, durch Bezug auf die Komplizenschaft der Opfer, als Vergeltung oder Repressalie, als eine durch einen äußersten Notfall gerechtfertigte Verletzung der Immunität von Zivilisten und als ein durch den zu erreichenden Zweck gerechtfertigtes Mittel. All diese Rechtfertigungen gehen fehl. Die Bombardierungen waren eine durch nichts zu rechtfertigende Schreckenstat.
This collection includes the milestones in the development of Human Sexuality as a branch of philosophical debate in its own right. The papers included provide a comprehensive and provoking analysis across a wide range of subject areas.
The Political Responsibility of Intellectuals addresses the many problems in defining the relationship of intellectuals to the society in which they live. In what respects are they responsible for, and to, that society? Should they seek to act as independent arbiters of the values explicitly or implicity espoused by those around them? Should they seek to advise those in public life about the way in which they should act, or should they withdraw from any form of political involvement? And how (...) should their preoccupations with truth and language find practical expression? The contributors to this volume seek to provide tentative answers to these questions. They come from a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from economics to linguistics and sociology to philosophy, and are drawn from both America and Eastern and Western Europe. The volume is given a particular interest by recent political upheavals in Eastern Europe, where many intellectuals have been confronted with sharply practical, sometimes dramatic, choices about their role in the political arena. (shrink)