Social and Political Philosophy: Contemporary Perspectives

By James P. Sterba | Go to book overview

NOTES
1
Taking the term “warism” from Duane Cady. See his From Warism to Pacifism (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989).
2
I concentrate on anti-war pacifism in my On War and Morality because it seems to me that war can be shown to be wrong without assuming a commitment to nonviolence, even though a commitment to nonviolence entails holding that war is wrong.
3
Douglas Lackey, “The Moral Irrelevance of the Counterforce/Countervalue Distinction,” The Monist, vol. 70 (1987) pp. 255-76.
4
It’s worth noting that Sterba’s account is at variance with standard formulations of the Doctrine of Double Effect, which has a separate condition preventing one from doing evil, even if merely foreseen, so that good may come of it. The evil consequence can’t, in other words, be causally necessary to the production of the good (which would, in Sterba’s terms, make it part of the explanation of why the agent performed the act). Whereas traditional DDE allows that merely foreseen consequences can play this role, Sterba’s account entails that any consequence playing that role (hence part of the explanation of why the act was performed) becomes part of what was intended, not merely foreseen.
5
Hair-splitters may want to note that killing the one hostage can’t prevent all 200 from being executed because killing the one itself constitutes an execution. If, on the other hand, one were to say that it doesn’t constitute an execution—or if one took “execution” to cover only execution at the hands of others—then it would no longer be true that killing the one is the only way possible to prevent the execution of the 200, since one could kill them all oneself. While relatively unimportant to this case, this point is of considerable importance in many of the problems centering around the distinction between killing and letting die.
6
I’m not talking about a legal state of war, which can exist without fighting once a declaration of war has been made, but war itself.

-406-

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