Terrorism and the Ethics of War

by Stephen Nathanson

Terrorism and the Ethics of War Synopsis

Most people strongly condemn terrorism; yet they often fail to say how terrorist acts differ from other acts of violence such as the killing of civilians in war. Stephen Nathanson argues that we cannot have morally credible views about terrorism if we focus on terrorism alone and neglect broader issues about the ethics of war. His book challenges influential views on the ethics of war, including the realist view that morality does not apply to war, and Michael Walzer's defence of attacks on civilians in 'supreme emergency' circumstances. It provides a clear definition of terrorism, an analysis of what makes terrorism morally wrong, and a rule-utilitarian defence of noncombatant immunity, as well as discussions of the Allied bombings of cities in World War II, collateral damage, and the clash between rights theories and utilitarianism. It will interest a wide range of readers in philosophy, political theory, international relations and law.

Terrorism and the Ethics of War Press Reviews

'In this carefully argued work, Stephen Nathanson has brought together two areas, terrorism and the ethics of war, too often treated separately. The result is new moral clarity and insight in both areas, especially regarding the moral treatment due to civilians by purveyors of military violence. This work is particularly valuable for those seeking a moral understanding of terrorism and an appreciation of what they must do to make their condemnation of terrorism morally credible.' Steven Lee, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, New York

Book Information

ISBN: 9780521137164
Publication date: 13th May 2010
Author: Stephen Nathanson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 328 pages
Categories: Ethics & moral philosophy, Social & political philosophy, Terrorism, armed struggle,

About Stephen Nathanson

Stephen Nathanson is Professor of Philosophy at Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of Should We Consent to Be Governed? (1992, 2000) and of numerous articles on the death penalty, patriotism and economic justice.

More About Stephen Nathanson

Share this book