The Ethics of War: Classic and Contemporary Readings / Edition 1

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The Ethics of War is an indispensable collection of essays addressing issues both timely and age-old about the nature and ethics of war.

  • Features essays by great thinkers from ancient times through to the present day, among them Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Grotius, Kant, Russell, and Walzer
  • Examines timely questions such as: When is recourse to arms morally justifiable? What moral constraints should apply to military conduct? How can a lasting peace be achieved?
  • Will appeal to a broad range of readers interested in morality and ethics in war time
  • Includes informative introductions and helpful marginal notes by editors
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a superb, comprehensive collection of the basic texts that make up the just war tradition. Some have been very difficult to get hold of and others have been translated for the first time. It will be an indispensable resource for all departments of international affairs, ethics, war studies, peace studies and many history departments." Times Higher Education, 25 May 2007

"As a collection of key readings, each prefaced by editorial comment, it can scarcely be bettered."
The Times

"An invaluable resource for many readers for years to come...anyone interested in the history of western thought on the subject of war will find [the volume] fascinating."
Peace News

"On balance...The Ethics of War will serve as a tremendous resource for students, teachers and writers for decades to come. We owe its editors much gratitude for their diligent compilation of a tremendous range of texts, and their careful scholarly analysis of the arguments to be found within them."
David L. Perry, United States Army War College

"This superbly edited and thoughtfully organized collection brings together all of the essential texts of the just war tradition in one single volume. An outstanding achievement!"
George R. Lucas, Jr., U.S. Naval Academy

"A unique and extremely well-done collection of essays culled from every period of Western history – some of which were previously unavailable in English. This is an important anthology, one that should be read and re-read by any serious student of the perennial ethical problems of warfare."
Carl Ficarotta, US Air Force Academy

"This magnificent volume allows readers both to learn about the past and from the past. It will be of great value to historians, while those who are concerned with the burning current issues of just war will appreciate the depth of analysis of their predecessors."
Jon Elster, Collège de France

"Although this book is primarily aimed at the academic market, anyone interested in the history of western thought on the subject of war will find it fascinating"
Peace News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405123785
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 760
  • Sales rank: 663,036
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory M. Reichberg is Senior Researcher at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) where he heads the Institute’s Program on Ethics, Norms, and Identities. He is editor of The Classics of Western Philosophy: A Reader’s Guide (with Jorge J. E. Gracia and Bernard N. Schumacher, Blackwell 2003) and he has published numerous articles on the ethics of war and peace.

Henrik Syse is Senior Researcher associated with PRIO and the Ethics Program at the University of Oslo, and Head of Corporate Governance at Norges Bank Investment Management. He is the author of Natural Law, Religion, and Rights (2006).

Endre Begby is Fulbright Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Table of Contents



Part I: Ancient and Early Christian.

1. Thucydides (ca. 460–ca. 400 BC): War and Power.

2. Plato (427­–347 BC): Tempering War among the Greeks.

3. Aristotle (384–322 BC): Courage, Slavery, and Citizen Soldiers.

4. Roman Law of War and Peace (7th century BC–1st century AD): Ius Fetiale.

5. Cicero (106­­–43 BC): Civic Virtue as the Foundation of Peace.

6. Early Church Fathers (2nd–4th century): Pacifism and Defense of the Innocent.

7. Augustine (354–430): Just War in the Service of Peace.

Part II: Medieval.

8. Medieval Peace Movements (975–1123): Religious Limitations on Warfare.

9. The Crusades (11th–13th century): Christian Holy War.

10. Gratian and the Decretists (12th century): War and Coercion in the Decretum.

11. John of Salisbury (ca. 1120–1180): The Challenge of Tyranny.

12. Raymond of Peñafort (ca. 1175–1275) & William of Rennes (13th century):.

The Conditions of Just War, Self-Defense and their Legal Consequences under Penitential Jurisdiction.

13. Innocent IV (ca. 1180–1254): The Kinds of Violence and the Limits of Holy War.

14. Alexander of Hales (ca. 1185–1245): Virtuous Dispositions in Warfare.

15. Hostiensis (ca. 1200–1271): A Topology of Internal and External War.

16. Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1225–1274): Just War and Sins against Peace.

17. Dante Alighieri: (1265–1321): Peace by Universal Monarchy.

18. Bartolus of Saxoferrato (ca. 1313–1357): Roman War in Christendom.

19. Christine de Pizan (ca. 1364–ca. 1431): War and Chivalry.

20. Raphaël Fulgosius (1367–1427): Just War Reduced to Public War.

Part III: Late Scholastic and Reformation.

21. Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466–1536): The Spurious ‘Right to War’.

22. Cajetan (1468-1534): War and Vindicative Justice.

23. Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527): War Is Just to Whom It Is Necessary.

24. Thomas More (ca. 1478-1535): Warfare in Utopia.

25. Martin Luther (1483-1546) and Jean Calvin (1509-1564): Legitimate War in Reformed Christianity.

26. The Radical Reformation: Religious Rationales for Violence and Pacifism (16th Century).

27. Francisco de Vitoria: (ca. 1492–1546): Just War in the Age of Discovery.

28. Luis de Molina (1535–1600): Distinguishing War from Punishment.

29. Francisco Suárez (1548–1617): Justice, Charity, and War.

30. Alberico Gentili (1552–1608): The Advantages of Preventive War.

31. Johannes Althusius (1557–1638): Defending the Commonwealth.

32. Hugo Grotius (1583–1645): The Theory of Just War Systematized.

Part IV: Modern.

33. Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679): Solving the Problem of Civil War.

34. Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677): The Virtue of Peace.

35. Samuel von Pufendorf (1632–1694): War in an Emerging System of States.

36. John Locke (1632–1704): The Rights of Man and the Limits of Just Warfare.

37. Christian von Wolff (1679–1754): Bilateral Rights of War.

38. Montesquieu (1689–1755): National Self-Preservation and the Balance of.


39. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778): Supranational Government and Peace.

40. Emer de Vattel (1714–1767): War in Due Form.

41. Immanuel Kant: (1724–1804): Cosmopolitan Rights, Human Progress, and Perpetual Peace.

42. G.W.F. Hegel (1770–1831): War and the Spirit of the Nation-State.

43. Carl von Clausewitz (1780–1831): Ethics and Military Strategy.

44. Daniel Webster (1782–1852): The Caroline Incident (1837).

45. Francis Lieber (1800–1872): Devising a Military Code of Conduct.

46. John Stuart Mill (1806–1873): Foreign Intervention and National Autonomy.

47. Karl Marx (1818–1883) & Friedrich Engels (1820–1895): War as an.

Instrument of Emancipation.

Part V: 20th Century.

48. Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924): The Dream of a League of Nations.

49. Bertrand Russell (1872–1970): Pacifism and Modern War.

50. Hans Kelsen (1881–1973): Bellum Iustum in International Law.

51. Paul Ramsey (1913–1988): Nuclear Weapons and Legitimate Defense.

52. G.E.M. Anscombe (1919–2001): The Moral Recklessness of Pacifism.

53. John Rawls (1921–2002): The Moral Duties of Statesmen.

54. Michael Walzer (b. 1935): Terrorism and Ethics.

55. Thomas Nagel (b. 1937): The Logic of Hostility.

56. James Turner Johnson (b. 1938): Contemporary Just War.

57. National Conference of Catholic Bishops (1983 & 1993): A Presumption against War.

58. Kofi Annan (b. 1938): Toward a New Definition of Sovereignty.


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