Can Wars Be Fought Justly? The Necessity Condition Put to the Test

Journal of Moral Philosophy, Forthcoming

25 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2011

See all articles by Daniel Statman

Daniel Statman

University of Haifa - Department of Philosophy

Date Written: June, 28 2011

Abstract

According to a widespread view, wars are justified only if they are fought in self-defense. It follows that the same constraints that limit the use of otherwise immoral measures in individual self-defense apply to collective self-defense too. I try to show that this view has radical implications at the level of jus in bello which have not been fully appreciated. In particular, if the necessity condition must be satisfied in all cases of killing in war, then most fighting turns out to be unjust. One way to avoid this result is to adopt a contractual view of killing in war which interprets the necessity condition in a way that is more permissive with regard to killing combatants in war. At least in this respect, a contractual view of killing in war has an advantage over other candidates in explaining how wars might be fought justly.

Keywords: just war theory, self defense, necessity, propotionality, contractualism

Suggested Citation

Statman, Daniel, Can Wars Be Fought Justly? The Necessity Condition Put to the Test (June, 28 2011). Journal of Moral Philosophy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1873800

Daniel Statman (Contact Author)

University of Haifa - Department of Philosophy ( email )

Eshkol Tower, 19th Floor
Haifa 31905, 31905
Israel
+972-4-656-8343 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://philo.haifa.ac.il/staff/statman.htm

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