On the Ethics of War and Terrorism

Hardcover | May 24, 2007

byUwe Steinhoff

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In this book Uwe Steinhoff describes and explains the basic tenets of just war theory and gives a precise, succinct and highly critical account of its present status and of the most important and controversial current debates surrounding it. Rejecting certain in effect medieval assumptions oftraditional just war theory and advancing a liberal outlook, Steinhoff argues that every single individual is a legitimate authority and has under certain circumstances the right to declare war on others or the state. He also argues that the just cause cannot be established independently of theother criteria of jus ad bellum (the justification of entering a war), except for right intention, which he interprets more leniently than the tradition does. Turning to jus in bello (which governs the conduct of a war) he criticises the Doctrine of Double Effect and concludes that insofar as warskill innocents, and be it as "collateral damage, they cannot be just but at best justified as the lesser evil. Steinhoff gives particular attention to the question why soldiers, allegedly, are legitimate targets and civilians not. Discussing four approaches to the explanation of the difference heargues that the four principles underlying them all need to be taken into account and outlines how their weighing can proceed if applied to concrete cases. The resulting approach does not square the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate targets with the distinction between soldiers andcivilians, which has extremely important consequences for the conduct of war. Finally, Steinhoff analyses the concept of terrorism and argues that some forms of "terrorism"are actually no terrorism at all and that even terrorism proper can under certain circumstances be justified.This book is a project of the Oxford Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War.

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In this book Uwe Steinhoff describes and explains the basic tenets of just war theory and gives a precise, succinct and highly critical account of its present status and of the most important and controversial current debates surrounding it. Rejecting certain in effect medieval assumptions oftraditional just war theory and advancing a ...

Uwe Steinhoff, studied philosophy, psychology and politics in Frankfurt a.M., Berlin and Wurzburg. He is the author of Kritik der kommunikativen Rationalitat: Eine Darstellung und Kritik der kommunikationstheoretischen Philosophie von Jurgen Habermas und Karl-Otto Apel and of Effiziente Ethik: Uber Rationalitat, Selbsterschaffung, Pol...

other books by Uwe Steinhoff

Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.59 inPublished:May 24, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199217378

ISBN - 13:9780199217373

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Legitimate Authority2. Just Cause (including subcriteria) and Right Intention3. Innocents, Double Effect and Proportionality4. Non-Combatant Immunity and the Definition of Non-Innocence and Innocence5. The Ethics of TerrorismNotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This penetrating philosophical analysis...offers a rigorous critique of central ideas and concepts of the just-war tradition... [Steinhoff] challenges the moral validity of commonly accepted ideas about the ethics of war, such as the distinction between consequences that are intended and those that are foreseen but unintended (double effect)... Highly recommended."--CHOICE