jwt+ch2 - Phil 106, Fall 2010 The Morality of War Hoversten...

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Phil 106, Fall 2010 The Morality of War Hoversten Chapter 2: Resisting Aggression The primary purpose of Just War Theory (JWT) is to “restrain both the incidence and destructiveness of war” (p.31). There seem to be two not necessarily equivalent motivations for engaging in the enterprise of putting restraints on war: i. Sometimes war is morally permissible (cf. the Allies engagement in WWII, which has been referred to as “The Good War”). JWT serves to spell out the conditions under which war is permissible. ii. War is a bad thing, but it’s fool hearty to think it can be completely avoided. JWT is an attempt to provide a set of guidelines with the best chance of minimizing the evils of war. Orend seems to subscribe to (1), but it seems to me that some of the debate between the Traditionalists and the Revisionists regarding JWT seems to turn on the more practical motivation provided by (2). Just war theory is traditionally broken into three components. They are each conceptually independent from the others, but different approaches to JWT unite them to differing degrees. jus ad bellum Governs the morality of going to war. jus in bello Governs the morality of action taken within war. jus post bellum Governs the morality of post-war reconstruction and efforts for continued peace. In this chapter, the focus is on jus ad bellum . JWT traditionally recognizes 6 broad criteria that a state must meet in order to achieve jus ad bellum . 1. Just cause 2. Right intention 3. Public declaration by proper authority 4. Last resort 5. Probability of success 6. Proportionality But not just any agent can engage in a just war, even if the the 6 criteria above could somehow be met. Before we develop these criteria further, we need an account of whose action just war theory is intended to restrain. States and their rights A state can be understood for our purposes as the dominant governing body of a society . According to the legal code set out by the United Nations, the only restriction on potential agents in a just war is that they be a recognized member of the UN. But from a moral perspective, we might think that a state must meet more stringent requirements in order to engage in a truly just war. In order to see what those additional requirements might be, we first need to ask what is the purpose of states? Society formation Orend suggests that one of the “deepest facets of human nature” is that “we strongly prefer to live in groups” (p. 35). The need for social engagement may be even stronger than Orend suggests, but either way, the formation of states seems to be a natural progression of this basic fact about humans. 1
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Phil 106, Fall 2010 The Morality of War Hoversten Autonomy Another deep facet of humanity that Orend appeals to is a strong preference to govern our- selves. That is, as individuals, we see freedom of choice over how we live our lives as a primary feature that makes our lives worth living. If we extend this idea to the social realm, choice over what
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This note was uploaded on 09/27/2011 for the course PHILOSPHY 106 taught by Professor Mcmahan during the Fall '10 term at Rutgers.

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jwt+ch2 - Phil 106, Fall 2010 The Morality of War Hoversten...

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