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Link to masters thesis

Soldiers, Self Defense, and Killing in War

Chapter 1 is a critique of Michael Walzer's Just and Unjust Wars, which is used at West Point and is the best text on Just War Theory. Walzer understands warfare, but he implicitly relies on an account of killing in self defense that is much too permissive, one that claims that we are justified in killing anything or anyone that threatens us.

Chapter 2 is a critique of war-pacifism as laid out in Richard Norman's Ethics, Killing, and War. I argue that he presents a strong case for when killing is and is not justified, but--because he simply does not understand soldiers and warfare--he applies his criteria inaccurately to soldiers in war.

In Chapter 3, I show how Norman's account of justified killing can be combined with Walzer's more accurate understanding of warfare to produce a moral justification for killing in combat.

This was my first deep thinking on the subject, so I invite and welcome any critiques of the argument.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Uncle Pete! Congrats on being featured on the front page, "above the fold" in the WSJ. -Maria (your niece)

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