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Killing in War - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Killing in War

Jeff McMahan


Killing a person is in general among the most seriously wrongful forms of action, yet most of us accept that it can be permissible to kill people on a large scale in war. Does morality become more permissive in a state of war? This book argues that conditions in war make no difference to what morality permits and that the justifications for killing people are the same in war as they are in other contexts, such as individual self-defence. This view is radically at odds with the traditional theory of the just war and has implications that challenge common sense views. It implies, for example, th ... More

Keywords: self-defense, just combatants, unjust combatants, moral equality, liability, proportionality, requirement of discrimination, law of war, civilian immunity, terrorism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199548668
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548668.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jeff McMahan, author
Rutgers University, New Jersey
Author Webpage