Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Morality and WarCan War Be Just in the Twenty-first Century?$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Fisher

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599240

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599240.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 October 2021

9. Extreme Times, Extreme Measures

9. Extreme Times, Extreme Measures

(p.166) 9. Extreme Times, Extreme Measures
Morality and War

David Fisher (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Following the 9/11 attacks, al‐Qaeda and other terrorist groups pose a threat, operating with global networks and potentially armed with weapons of mass destruction. To counter these threats, US policy‐makers argued that extreme times justify extreme measures. These include pre‐emptive military action to forestall terrorist attacks and new methods of interrogation to uncover them. Just‐war thinking would license neither the new US doctrine of pre‐emption nor the new interrogation techniques. For an absolutist torture is always wrong, but a consequentialist, such as Dershowitz, justifies torture if it could save lives. To understand why torture is wrong we need to deploy all the resources of virtuous consequentialism, attending not just to the consequences but the internal states and character of the torturer and his victim. We want our public servants to be virtuous. Yet we need our special interrogators to be men or women of vice.

Keywords:   absolutism, coercive interrogation, consequentialism, Alan Dershowitz, extreme measures, pre‐emption, al‐Qaeda, 11 September 2001, 9/11, terrorism, torture, vice, virtue, virtuous consequentialism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .