Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Articles on Ethics of War

If you have access to Philosophy Compass (a journal I heartily recommend) you should look at two recent articles by Endre Begby, Gregory M. Reichberg, and Henrik Syse. It is actually a two part article first on the history of the ethics of war, and the second part on contemporary issues. The first part is a very good, though quite terse history of just war thinkers from Heraclitus to Walzer. It is a great place to start if you want to explore the history of just war theory in the West. The second article focuses on more contemporary debates in each area of classical just war theory, as well as the more recent discussion of jus post bellum.

Some of you know that I think a lot of contemporary just war theory sounds really old fashioned and needs to be updated in light of the evolved ontological nature modern politics, warfare, and warriors, as well as concepts like moral and military asymmetries and the distinction between aggressor and aggresse. The article presents a good overview of what people are talking about today and makes considerable strides toward understanding which questions are still relevant, and how. Both are worth reading. 

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