War and self-defense: a critique and a proposal

Phillip Montague

About author

Phillip Montague
Western Washington University

Abstract


Discussions of the ethics of war commonly – and reasonably – assume that defensive wars are morally justified if any wars are. They also assume that explanations of why defensive warfare is morally justified must be based on principles that also explain the moral justifiability of individual self-defense. David Rodin has recently argued that the second of these assumptions is mistaken, and he has developed an alternative account of the morality of defensive warfare. The purpose of this paper is to show that Rodin’s argument fails, and to explain how defensive warfare can indeed be justified in terms of principles that also apply to individual self-defense.

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References


  1. Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld, Fundamental Legal Conceptions, Yale Univer- sity Press, New Haven 1919.
  2. Phillip Montague, Self-Defense and Innocence: Aggressors and Active Threats, ”Utilitas” (12) 2000: 52-78.
  3. Phillip Montague, Blameworthiness, Vice, and the Objectivity of Morals, “Pacific Philosophical Quarterly” (85) 2004: 68-84.
  4. David Rodin, War and Self-Defense, Oxford University Press, New York 2002.
  5. A. John Simmons, Moral Principles and Political Obligation, Princeton University Press, Princeton 1979.
  6. L.W. Sumner, The Moral Foundation of Rights, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1987.

DOI:

http://dx.doi.org/10.13153/diam.23.2010.382

Article links:

Default URL: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/view/382
English abstract URL: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/view/382/en

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