Saturday, September 15, 2012

Viehoff on Dobos

Daniel Viehoff reviews Ned Dobos's Insurrection and Intervention: Two faces of Sovereignty in NDPR.

The book, according to the review, seems to attempt to understand the intuition (which I admit I am not too comfortable with) that there is an asymmetry between our intuition that an internal rebellion against a government is morally legitimate whereas an external force who attempts an intervention with identical ends is less legitimate.

I suspect the real reason for the intuition is that people have trouble believing that outsiders could be so altruistic that they would risk blood and treasure for another. That is, people assume that at the very least, if someone is coming from the outside to help you, they must have ulterior motives, which makes the enterprise inherently suspect. Whereas people on the inside are only out for their own self interest, which somehow makes insurrection legitimate.

In any case, I would be curious to see what is involved in defending the intuition. The book looks interesting and well reasoned. I look forward to reading it myself. 

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