Public War, Private Conscience: The Ethics of Political Violence

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Overview

Public War, Private Conscience offers a philosophical reflection on the moral demands made upon us by war, providing a clear and accessible overview of the different ways of thinking about war.

Engaging both with contemporary examples and historical ideas about war, the book offers unique analysis of issues relating to terrorism, conscience objection, just war theory and pacifism. Andrew Fiala examines the conflict between utilitarian and deontological points of view. On the one hand, wars are part of the project of public welfare, subject to utilitarian evaluation. On the other hand, war is also subject to deontological judgment that takes seriously the importance of private conscience and human rights. This book argues that the conflict between these divergent approaches is unavoidable. We are continually caught in the tragic conflict between these two values: public happiness and private morality. And it is in war that we find the conflict at its most obvious and most disturbing.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441182814
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Pages: 177
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Fiala is Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Fresno, USA. He is the author of The Just War Myth (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008), The Philosopher's Voice (SUNY Press, 2002) and Practical Pacifism (Algora Press, 2004).

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgments xv

Chapter 1 The Sublime Grind of Ares 1

Chapter 2 The War of Public and Private 16

Chapter 3 Plato's Prophecy and Kant's Dream 30

Chapter 4 Democratic Control and Professional Ethics 41

Chapter 5 The Military Establishment 53

Chapter 6 The Democratic Peace Myth: From Kant and Mill to Hiroshima and Baghdad 66

Chapter 7 The Vanity of Temporal Things: Hegel and the Ethics of War 80

Chapter 8 American Ambivalence: Militarism, Pacifism, and Pragmatism 94

Chapter 9 Sliding Scales and the Mischief of War 110

Chapter 10 Waterboarding, Torture, and Violence 126

Chapter 11 Conscientious Refusal and the Liberal Tradition 141

Chapter 12 Public Myths and Private Protest 156

Bibliography 163

Index 173

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