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Taking LifeThree Theories on the Ethics of Killing$
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Torbjorn Tannsjo

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190225575

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190225575.001.0001

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Killing in War

Killing in War

(p.212) Chapter 10 Killing in War
Taking Life

Torbjörn Tännsjö

Oxford University Press

In this chapter the focus is on the ethics surrounding war. The laws of armed conflict regulate how warfare can legitimately be conducted. In particular, there are laws regulating what you can do in war (jus in bello), regardless of whether the war you take part in is just or unjust. It is argued that these laws are roughly as they should be. How do the three theories put to test deal with the question of killing in war? Deontology cannot provide a rationale behind them, however. The moral rights theory is consistent with them. Utilitarianism can explain why they should look roughly in the way they do.

Keywords:   laws of armed conflict, jus ad bellum, jus in bello, Michael Walzer, Jeff McMahan, Frances Kamm

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