Justifying war: an account of just and merely justifying causes for war
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] My project is to offer a new answer to the traditional question: What can justify the resort to war? I defend substantive accounts of the Just Cause and Justifying Cause conditions: the reasons that can make it just and permissible (respectively) to go to war against our opponents. My contention is that each of these requires us to focus on the rights of our individual opponents, and that once we do this, it becomes evident that conventional warfare is hardly ever just, or even justified. This is because (1) it is unjust to intentionally subject the morally innocent to a high risk of being intentionally killed, (2) it is very difficult even to justify doing this, and (3) conventional warfare involves imposing a substantial amount of such risk. I argue that morality requires us to either stop fighting wars, or target them more narrowly against those most responsible for the wrongful threats we seek to prevent (usually the military and political leaders).
Access is limited to the campuses of the University of Missouri.