In thinking about the rules of war, the trend in contemporary political philosophy has been to start from individual conduct and scale up. War is just many instances of individual self-defense, so the rules about individual self-defense will frame the principles of just warfare. Our guest today, Jon Quong, wants to flip that on its head. To understand whether a given individual is acting rightly in harming another, we need to first settle our views about the social context in which it takes place.
Tag Archives: just war theory
Why are soldiers allowed to kill in war? For philosophers who believe in what Seth Lazar calls the “new orthodoxy,” the answer is that soldiers can kill for the same reason anyone can kill: self-defense. War is just individual self-defense writ large. But self-defense, Lazar says, is a deeply problematic basis for something as important as the rules of war.
This is the second half of our special episode featuring contributions by the students of Queens College. The students spent the semester in an upper-level philosophy class developing and recording short podcasts. In this two-part episode, we present those student-produced podcasts. The students each sought to answer the question: what do the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan tell us about our traditions of just war theory?
Welcome to a very special episode of Public Ethics Radio. This podcast is the result of a semester-long experiment conducted by a class of students at Queens College of the City University of New York. The students took an upper-level philosophy seminar co-taught by Matt Peterson and Queens College’s Sari Kisilevsky. Students spent the semester developing and recording short podcasts. In this two-part episode, we present those student-produced podcasts.
Out of some 1,300 Palestinians killed in Gaza, Israel claims that it can name more than 700 of the dead who were Hamas fighters. Claiming precise knowledge of their targets, Israeli officials insist that their attacks were judiciously planned so as to minimize harm to civilians. No matter how cautious Israel is, though, any attack on its enemies will result in civilian casualties.
Today on Public Ethics Radio, we discuss the role that civilian casualties play in assessing the justice of war.