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symposium on just war for the 21st century
1. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Adam Henschke, Nicholas G. Evans Winning Well by Fighting Well: Probability of Success and the Relations between War’s Ends and Warfighters’ Roles
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Modern warfare has shifted from the traditional conception of states involved in self-defensive wars to include peacekeeping missions, humanitarian intervention, regional stabilisation in the face of natural disasters, and more. A central criterion from just war traditions is the probability of success—given the magnitude of harms that large military operations are expected to cause; there must be some likelihood that the military operation will be successful. However, how likely a given military operation will be is dependent, in part at least, on the capacities of those acting in the given military operation. Our paper shows that the capacities of those involved in a military action bear upon the likelihood of that operation being successful. A central goal of this paper is to argue for the recognition of the training of soldiers as a moral requirement for the just war.
2. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Evan Feinauer, Nir Eisikovits Noncombatant Immunity in Asymmetrical Warfare
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The principle of noncombatant immunity (NCI) lies at the heart of jus in bello or the moral rules governing the conduct of war. This paper takes up the status of NCI in asymmetrical wars (AW). The argument proceeds in six parts. In the first we present a skeptical or realist position about the feasibility of NCI in AW. Part two surveys the development of the idea of NCI. Part three provides an account of the logic and dynamics of AW. Part four lays out a set of objections to the realist position. Part five imagines a realist rejoinder. In the final part we examine the moral and political implications of assuming that the realists are right about NCI in AW. We argue that even if they are, this does not imply the realist conclusion that “anything goes” in AW. In fact, we suggest that difficulties upholding NCI in AW may give rise to a special argument for conscientious objection.
3. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Minako Ichikawa Smart, Shunzo Majima The Moral Grounds for Reparation for Collateral Damage in Expeditionary Interventions: Beyond the Just War Tradition
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Despite a significant effort to reduce civilian casualties, a large number of civilians have been killed and injured by the military forces of the Western powers undertaking military operations in remote regions. However, there is no requirement in the just war tradition (JWT) and international humanitarian law (IHL) to provide reparation for the victims of unintended and proportional attacks. This article seeks to establish moral grounds for responsibility to provide reparation for “collateral damage” by focusing on the distinct characteristics of expeditionary intervention and supplementing JWT with the frameworks of corrective justice and restorative justice. We propose that the elective, non-reciprocal, and asymmetrical natures of expeditionary interventions give rise to a special obligation to provide reparation for the civilian harms permitted by the JWT, on the basis of the fair distribution of risks and the need to restore damaged relationships.
4. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Conway Waddington Reconciling Just War Theory and Water-Related Conflict
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This paper suggests that certain characteristics of resourcerelated conflict reveal areas of contemporary Just War Theory that are insufficiently rigorous or robust in their current form. Water security in particular, reveals ambiguity in the Just War framework’s treatment of the jus ad bellum criteria of ‘just cause,’ which in turn challenges the credibility of the entire system. The insufficiency that is exposed has consequences for the effectiveness and cogency of the bodies of international law and global community, which are fundamentally based, and function according to, this predominantly Western moral framework. Key problem areas relating to flexible notions of ‘aggression,’ coincide with a persistent dilemma of simultaneously advocating responsibility to a global community while maintaining sovereign rights and security. Focusing on the ‘just cause’ criteria, justification for acts of war over certain resources is evaluated. Worryingly, the same powerful strategic reasons that might motivate a state to engage in what would otherwise be labelled a ‘realist’ war over certain resources, appear to gain moral merit through interpretation of the jus ad bellum in the specific case of water security, while argument against military action appears increasingly absolutist and impractical. The aim here then is to show the vulnerability of a dangerous prescriptive void in the Just War framework itself. Central to this is the question of the moral weight and significance, if any, of vital resources, as defined by strategic and humanitarian necessity.
articles
5. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Shari Collins, Eric Comerford Anonymous Sperm Donation: A Case for Genetic Heritage and Wariness for Contractual Parenthood
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Anonymous sperm donation offspring often yearn for information about their biological fathers, and as they come of age that yearning increases in intensity. We first explore will and interest theory regarding this desire to know one’s heritage and argue that both theories lead to a right of the offspring to know. We then turn to the donor contract, look at the inconsistencies between donor ability to eschew parental responsibility compared to other biological fathers, and argue that there should be a procedure similar to adoption procedures, whereby sperm donors take seriously the legal severing of their parental rights and responsibilities. We conclude that the offspring have a right to their genetic heritage and call for caring reproductive technological practices that ensure children of donors this right.
6. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Jesper Ryberg Punishment, Pharmacological Treatment, and Early Release
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Recent studies have shown that pharmacological treatment may have an impact on aggressive and impulsive behavior. Assuming that these results are correct, would it be morally acceptable to instigate violent criminals to accept pharmacological rehabilitation by offering this treatment in return for early release from prison? This paper examines three different reasons for being skeptical with regard to this sort of practice. The first reason concerns the acceptability of the treatment itself. The second reason concerns the ethical legitimacy of making offers under coercive conditions. The third relates to the acceptability of the fact that those criminals who accepted the treatment would be exempted from the punishment they rightly deserved. It is argued that none of these reasons succeeds in rejecting this sort of offer.
7. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Elliot D. Cohen Is Perfectionism a Mental Disorder?
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This paper brings to bear empirical evidence from a sample of undergraduate students to show that perfectionism can be a fundamental cognition behind the essential symptoms of some anxiety and mood disorders, notably Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depression; and it suggests that this popular “philosophy of life” may helpfully be used in diagnosing these disorders.
8. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Susan T. Gardner Love Them or Leave Them? Respect Requires Neither
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The notion of “respect for persons” is a one often closely tied to the religious edict that “we ought to love one another.” It thus appears to give rise to a command that we are obliged to nurture some kind of positive regard toward others.Taking on a slightly different hue, Kant’s notion of “respect for persons” requires that we recognize universalizing agents as autonomous, and, hence, even if fanatical (Hare), we have no grounds to condemn.In this paper, both of these views will be challenged. It will be argued that we do not owe persons respect in the sense of positive regard, nor are we ethically required to give wide birth to “rational” choices. It will be argued, rather, that, although we do owe “respect to persons,” we owe respect in the sense of being prepared to hold persons “communicativelyaccountable”— of being prepared to engage in hard-nosed intersubjective communicative-interaction (Habermas) about the sort of values/ideals that ought to guide all reasonable people. Since such interaction necessitates the interchange of both positive AND negative judgements, it follows that “respect for persons” requires neither that we love them, nor that we leave them alone, but rather that we engage.
9. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Michael Davis Rewarding Whistleblowers: A Conceptual Problem?
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Since 2010, Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act has required the Securities and Exchange Commission to give a significant financial reward to any whistleblower who voluntarily discloses original information concerning fraud or other unlawful activity. How, if at all, might such “incentives” change our understanding of whistleblowing? My answer is that, while incentives should not change the definition of whistleblowing, it should change our understanding of the justification of whistleblowing. We need to distinguish the public justification of whistleblowing, its public defense, from its personal justification, the defense the whistleblower should be able to present to conscience. Motive is relevant only to the personal justification—but, since motive is relevant to that, statutes should be written so as not to interfere with personal justification, for example, by offering incentives when compensation would do. Though the paper’s focus is Section 922, its argument and conclusions are quite general.
10. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
Fernando Suárez Müller Eurocentrism, Human Rights, and Humanism
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The universal validity of human rights is endangered by the charge that these rights are ‘Eurocentric’ and this means that human rights could be considered to be a product of illegitimate power relations developed by European cultures. I differentiate several levels of this charge and show that, logically, there is a genetic fallacy at its heart so the concept of human rights cannot be invalidated by it. Historically, human rights are indeed the result of the development of Western humanist thought but we should differentiate the genesis of an idea from its validity. I outline how this development took place, how the argument of Eurocentrism developed, and why this argument can only function when the idea of human rights is taken for granted.Although the argument of Eurocentrism cannot be used to dismantle the idea of the universality of human rights, it still has an important function in a self-critical theory of universal human rights. It can be used as a hermeneutic tool that reflects on the formulation of these rights without endangering the universal claim of the idea itself. The quasi-transcendental legitimation of the idea of human rights developed by the Frankfurt philosopher and Habermas pupil Rainer Forst can be seen as a strategy of validation of the universality of human rights that is able to integrate arguments centred around Eurocentrism in a pluralistic hermeneutics of human rights. Forst’s theory can be read as a response to Amartya Sen’s criticism of transcendentalism as it is developed in his philosophy of justice.
11. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 2
About the Contributors
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symposium on imaginary cases
12. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Michael Davis Imaginary Cases in Ethics: A Critique
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By “case,” I mean a proxy for some state of affairs, event, sequence of events, or other fact. A case may be as short as a phrase (“a promise to your dying grandfather”) or (in principle, at least) longer than War and Peace. A case may consist of words (as in the typical philosophical example) or have a more dramatic form, such as a movie, stage performance, or computer simulation. Imaginary cases plainly have an important role in contemporary ethics, especially in applied or practical ethics. This paper is a systematic critique of imaginary cases in ethics (what Kant would have called a “prolegomenon” to their use). There are two main parts. The first explains what it is to imagine a case and what limits there are to what can be imagined. The limits of imagination are, in general, determined by the purpose to which the case is to be put. The second part distinguishes nine uses of imaginary cases: rhetorical; probative (subdivided into counterexample, proof of possibility, and pattern-proving); and heuristic (subdivided into illustrative, experiment in theory, insight-sharpening, commitment-mapping, and exploring reasoning process). Some of these uses are (more or less) unobjectionable (whether the particular case succeeds or fails in its objective) but some require special care or outright avoidance. I give examples of how philosophers and other ethicists would be better off if they were more cautious in their use of imaginary cases (including some classic examples, such as Nozick’s book thruster and Thompson’s famous violinist). This paper is especially concerned with the use of imaginary cases in contemporary defenses of torture.
13. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Matthew C. Altman On the Uses and Disadvantages of the Ticking Bomb Case for Life
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The ticking bomb case is meant to challenge absolute prohibitions on the use of torture. In “Imaginary Cases,” Michael Davis attempts to show that such cases can only be legitimately employed within certain limited parameters. In this paper, I explain how the ticking bomb case, suitably revised, does not run afoul of Davis’s prohibition on impossible content. The fact that torture could elicit the necessary information is enough; we need not stipulate a guaranteed result. I also defend philosophers’ use of the case to identify our moral intuitions and to evaluate our theoretical assumptions. Although our responses to actual events are better at mapping our actual commitments, imaginary events can also reveal our pre-theoretic intuitions. Ultimately, however, I reject the use of the ticking bomb case on practical grounds, because the imaginary case distorts our moral reasoning in actual cases and leads to our acceptance of torture more generally.
14. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Joseph Spino Defusing Dangers of Imaginary Cases
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Some imaginary cases lead us to surprising conclusions. Unfortunately, there exists the danger of being so distracted by these conclusions that the imaginary cases themselves escape critical examination. Using the now famous ticking time-bomb scenario as an example, I propose a simple methodology to help us better understand what role a given imaginary case should be playing in ethical discourse. In particular, I hope to show why the ticking time bomb scenario fails to have any probative value as a counter-example to anti-torture policies. Despite this, I argue that there is still an important role for cases like the ticking time-bomb scenario, as they can motivate study about some of our intuitive moral commitments. This in turn may lead us to a better understanding of what moves us to surprising ethical evaluations in the first place.
15. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Makoto Suzuki Comments on Michael Davis’s “Imaginary Cases in Ethics: A Critique”
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This paper concerns Davis’s objections against the probative uses of imaginary cases. His policy of getting more cautious in their uses is commendable. However, Davis’s arguments and proposals for limiting their uses might be based on controversial assumptions, go too far, and undervalue the reasons why thought experiments in ethics are constructed as they are. Even merely metaphysically possible cases can be test cases for or against ethical principles. Our ethical judgments about unrealistic cases can be credible, because, depending on the cases, we can know what would happen even under unrealistic assumptions. And non-actual and imagined cases are often indispensable for several purposes: examining the ethical relevance of natural properties, testing ethical principles, choosing between rival theories, and inductive uses (including generalization from a merely possible case to an actual problem at hand). It is hard to do away with the cases that are physically, biologically, and/or historically unrealistic.
symposium on integrity and trust of women
16. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Sylvia Burrow Protecting One’s Commitments: Integrity and Self-Defense
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Living in a culture of violence against women leads women to employ any number of avoidance and defensive strategies on a daily basis. Such strategies may be self protective but do little to counter women’s fear of violence. A pervasive fear of violence comes with a cost to integrity not addressed in moral philosophy. Restricting choice and action to avoid possibility of harm compromises the ability to stand for one’s commitments before others. If Calhoun is right that integrity is a matter of standing for one’s commitments then fear for safety undermines integrity. This paper extends Calhoun’s view through arguing that integrity further requires resiliency to protect one’s commitments. My account shows that self-defense training is a key source of this resiliency because it cultivates self-confidence. The practical point is that self-defense training directly counters fear and other passive responses to violence that undermine integrity. The theoretical significance is that violence against women is a social condition threatening integrity. Hence, integrity requires self-protection for more socially minded reasons than moral theorists have previously recognized.
17. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Lisa Campo-Engelstein Competing Social Norms: Why Women Are Responsible For, But Not Trusted with, Contraception
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A necessary component to reproductive autonomy is being trusted to make reproductive decisions. In the case of contraception, however, women are considered both trustworthy and untrustworthy. Women are held responsible for contraception and because responsibility usually stems from trust, it appears that women are trusted with contraception. Yet myriad laws and forms of surveillance and normalization surrounding contraception make women seem untrustworthy. Relying on Amy Mullin’s conception of trust that we trust those who we assume believe in the same social norms we do, I argue that this tension results from two competing social norms. One norm governing contraception is that people should be self-sacrificing, a norm with which most women align due to traditional gender roles. However, there is a norm that women are irrational in general as well as in contraceptive matters and consequently should not be trusted to use contraception. In order to combat both these norms, I make concrete recommendations for increasing knowledge of contraception, normalizing its use, and trusting both women and men with it.
articles
18. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Stephen Kershnar The Morality of Faking Orgasms: Deception in a Dishonest World
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In this essay, I argue that orgasm-faking is permissible. My essay consists of three parts. First, I provide a background sketch of the psychology of orgasm-faking. Second, I argue that it is permissible. Third, I consider other arguments that might be made for the permissibility of faking it.
19. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Patrick Clipsham Reasons and Refusals: The Relevance of Moral Distress
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Health-care professionals sometimes appeal to their own consciences in order to justify their exemption from professional duties. I argue that we can only understand the content of a conscientious refusal as either a claim about the psychological dispositions of the refusing professional or as a purely normative claim about the status of the action that is the object of the refusal. If we adopt the former view, we would still need to adjudicate these refusals in terms of the acceptability of the moral views that ground them. If the latter, then we effectively abandon the conception of conscientious refusals that is most widely discussed in the philosophical literature. Whichever option we choose, we must conclude that there is no reason to allow for traditionally understood conscientious refusals by health-care professionals.
20. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Bradley Wilson Justice With Mercy: An Arugment against Capital Punishment
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Crimes such as the mass murder recently committed in Norway provoke the strongest calls for the death penalty. Among ethicists, the morality of capital punishment typically is discussed in terms of whether or not capital punishment can be morally justified, i.e., the question is whether or not capital punishment is ever permissible. However, neither the morality nor immorality of capital punishment has been decisively demonstrated. My argument assumes that capital punishment is permissible in at least some circumstances. I argue that, even if we think that capital punishment is (sometimes) morally permissible, if we take into account the moral value of mercy, we can see that rejecting capital punishment as a form of punishment is preferable to using it. My argument takes the following form:1. Capital punishment is not morally required in any case.2. Mercy is a morally valuable trait; actions that demonstrate mercy have more moral worth than those that do not, ceteris paribus. Thus, a moral viewpoint that incorporates mercy is preferable to one that does not.3. Not executing those who have committed capital crimes (under some conditions) demonstrates mercy.4. Just punishment of capital crimes is compatible with showing mercy.5. Thus, not executing those who have committed capital crimes (under some conditions) is morally preferable to executing them. I conclude with a brief discussion of the implications of my argument.