Henry Shue

in The Oxford Handbook of Practical Ethics

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199284238
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577291 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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The three fundamental ethical questions about war concern the justification of the resort to war, the justification of the conduct of war, and the relation between the resort to a war and the limits on its conduct. These three questions are as follows. When, if ever, is one either permitted or obligated to resort to war? If the resort to war is ever justified, what are the limits on how a war may be fought? Are these limits on its conduct a necessary condition of a just war, or might extreme situations arise in which some of these limits may justifiably be ignored? Some of the arguments for the conclusion that war is never permissible, much less obligatory, rest on features of war that are not unique to it.

Keywords: ethical question; war; resort to war; conduct of war; just war; war obligations

Article.  14245 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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