A Moral Military

A Moral Military

A Moral Military

A Moral Military

Synopsis

In this new edition of the classic book on the moral conduct of war, Sidney Axinn provides a full-length treatment of the military conventions from a philosophical point of view. Axinn considers these basic ethical questions within the context of the laws of warfare: Should a good soldier ever disobey a direct military order? Are there restrictions on how we fight a war? What is meant by "military honour," and does it really affect the contemporary soldier? Is human dignity possible under battlefield conditions?Axinn answers "yes" to these questions. His objective inA Moral Militaryis to establish a basic framework for moral military action and to assist in analyzing military professional ethics. He argues for the seriousness of the concept of military honour but limits honourable military activity by a strict interpretation of the notion of war crime. With revisions and expansions throughout, including a new chapter on torture,A Moral Militaryis an essential guide on the nature of war during a time when the limits of acceptable behaviour are being stretched in new directions.

Excerpt

Since the first edition, the subject of torture has received a lot of attention. Many books, editorials, and congressional discussions have been devoted to the matter. Therefore I have added a chapter, Chapter 10, to consider recent arguments about when, if ever, it is permissible or prudent or moral to use torture. There are also various smaller additions to increase accuracy and relevance to the present.

I must thank many audiences for discussion of the material in this edition. A sophomore class at West Point; many classes at Temple University, Philadelphia; and Temple University, Tokyo have used the first edition as a text. I also thank the class members at the University of South Florida in the spring of 2007 for their assistance. In addition, I have also been regularly helped by my daughter, Constance Axinn Johnson, who has led me to relevant material, and done occasional proofreading. My editor, Micah Kleit, is an expert at knowing when to give an author some extra rope, and when to pull on that rope: both actions were necessary for me and much appreciated. I'm grateful to someone I have never met, Bobbie Dempsey, who was the copy editor and made great improvements in the readability and the sense of the manuscript. I'm also particularly grateful to my friend/partner, Christeen Brady, who has gone to great lengths to make it easy for me to work, and for her impressive thoughtfulness.

Because it is often misunderstood, I should say something again about the title of this book. Immanuel Kant distinguished between . . .

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