Contingent Pacifism: Revisiting Just War Theory

Contingent Pacifism: Revisiting Just War Theory

by Larry May


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In this, the first major philosophical study of contingent pacifism, Larry May offers a new account of pacifism from within the Just War tradition. Written in a non-technical style, the book features real-life examples from contemporary wars and applies a variety of approaches ranging from traditional pacifism and human rights to international law and conscientious objection. May considers a variety of thinkers and theories, including Hugo Grotius, Kant, Socrates, Seneca on restraint, Tertullian on moral purity, Erasmus's arguments against just war, and Hobbes's conception of public conscience. The guiding idea is that the possibility of a just war is conceded, but not at the current time or in the foreseeable future due to the nature of contemporary armed conflict and geopolitics - wars in the past are also unlikely to have been just wars. This volume will interest scholars and upper-level students of political philosophy, philosophy of law, and war studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107547667
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/15/2018
Pages: 282
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Larry May is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Law, and Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee. He is the author or editor of thirty books, including After War Ends: A Philosophical Perspective (Cambridge, 2012), Global Justice and Due Process (Cambridge, 2011), Genocide: A Normative Account (Cambridge, 2010), Aggression and Crimes against Peace (Cambridge, 2008), War Crimes and Just War (Cambridge, 2007), and Crimes against Humanity (Cambridge, 2005).

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; Part I. Varieties of Pacifism: 2. Traditional pacifism; 3. The idea of contingent pacifism; Part II. Human Rights and the Just War: 4. Proportionality, immunity, and human rights; 5. Necessity and the rights of soldiers; 6. Innocence and complicity; Part III. International Law and the Practice of Peace: 7. The United Nations Charter and outlawing war; 8. Human rights law and the right to life during war; 9. International law and post-war justice; Part IV. Conscience and Conscientious Refusal: 10. Conscience, integrity, and morality; 11. Public conscience and civil disobedience; 12. Selective conscientious refusal; 13. Final thoughts and conclusions; Bibliography; Index.

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