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  1. Toxic Warrior Identity, Accountability, and Moral Risk.Stoney Portis & Jessica Wolfendale - manuscript
    Academics working on military ethics and serving military personnel rarely have opportunities to talk to each other in ways that can inform and illuminate their respective experiences and approaches to the ethics of war. The workshop from which this paper evolved was a rare opportunity to remedy this problem. Our conversations about First Lieutenant (1LT) Portis’s experiences in combat provided a unique chance to explore questions about the relationship between oversight, accountability, and the idea of moral risk in military operations. (...)
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  2. Could Slaughterbots Wipe Out Humanity? Assessment of the Global Catastrophic Risk Posed by Autonomous Weapons.Alexey Turchin - manuscript
    Recently criticisms against autonomous weapons were presented in a video in which an AI-powered drone kills a person. However, some said that this video is a distraction from the real risk of AI—the risk of unlimitedly self-improving AI systems. In this article, we analyze arguments from both sides and turn them into conditions. The following conditions are identified as leading to autonomous weapons becoming a global catastrophic risk: 1) Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) development is delayed relative to progress in narrow (...)
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  3. Target Acquired: The Ethics of Assassination.Nathan Gabriel Wood - manuscript
    In international law and the ethics of war, there are a variety of actions which are seen as particularly problematic and presumed to be always or inherently wrong, or in need of some overwhelmingly strong justification to override the presumption against them. One of these actions is assassination, in particular, assassination of heads of state. In this essay I argue that the presumption against assassination is incorrect. In particular, I argue that if in a given scenario war is justified, then (...)
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  4. Eight Arguments Against Double Effect.Ezio Di Nucci - forthcoming - In Proceedings of the XXIII. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Philosophie.
    I offer eight arguments against the Doctrine of Double Effect, a normative principle according to which in pursuing the good it is sometimes morally permissible to bring about some evil as a side-effect or merely foreseen consequence: the same evil would not be morally justified as an intended means or end.
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  5. The Ethics of Biomedical Military Research: Therapy, Prevention, Enhancement, and Risk.Alexandre Erler & Vincent C. Müller - forthcoming - In Daniel Messelken & David Winkler (eds.), Health care in contexts of risk, uncertainty, and hybridity. Berlin: Springer. pp. 1-20.
    What proper role should considerations of risk, particularly to research subjects, play when it comes to conducting research on human enhancement in the military context? We introduce the currently visible military enhancement techniques (1) and the standard discussion of risk for these (2), in particular what we refer to as the ‘Assumption’, which states that the demands for risk-avoidance are higher for enhancement than for therapy. We challenge the Assumption through the introduction of three categories of enhancements (3): therapeutic, preventive, (...)
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  6. Automated Influence and the Challenge of Cognitive Security.Sarah Rajtmajer & Daniel Susser - forthcoming - HoTSoS: ACM Symposium on Hot Topics in the Science of Security.
    Advances in AI are powering increasingly precise and widespread computational propaganda, posing serious threats to national security. The military and intelligence communities are starting to discuss ways to engage in this space, but the path forward is still unclear. These developments raise pressing ethical questions, about which existing ethics frameworks are silent. Understanding these challenges through the lens of “cognitive security,” we argue, offers a promising approach.
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  7. Coupling Levels of Abstraction in Understanding Meaningful Human Control of Autonomous Weapons: A Two-Tiered Approach.Steven Umbrello - forthcoming - Ethics and Information Technology:1-21.
    The international debate on the ethics and legality of autonomous weapon systems (AWS), along with the call for a ban, primarily focus on the nebulous concept of fully autonomous AWS. These are AWS capable of target selection and engagement absent human supervision or control. This paper argues that such a conception of autonomy is divorced from both military planning and decision-making operations; it also ignores the design requirements that govern AWS engineering and the subsequent tracking and tracing of moral responsibility. (...)
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  8. Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual. [REVIEW]Steven Umbrello - 2021 - Journal of Military Ethics 20 (1):82-83.
    A new book by Jocko Willink, "Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual", is reviewed. Leadership Strategy and Tactics explore the nature of leadership styles and strategies in both narrative forms as the author discusses past experiences in the military, as well as in real-world applications beyond the military domain. The author provides timely, yet timeless advice for aspiring leaders in an easily digestible form, with quick reference chapters and simple tactical points.
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  9. Autonomous Weapons Systems and the Contextual Nature of Hors de Combat Status.Steven Umbrello & Nathan Gabriel Wood - 2021 - Information 12 (5):216.
    Autonomous weapons systems (AWS), sometimes referred to as “killer robots”, are receiving evermore attention, both in public discourse as well as by scholars and policymakers. Much of this interest is connected with emerging ethical and legal problems linked to increasing autonomy in weapons systems, but there is a general underappreciation for the ways in which existing law might impact on these new technologies. In this paper, we argue that as AWS become more sophisticated and increasingly more capable than flesh-and-blood soldiers, (...)
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  10. The Problem with Killer Robots.Nathan Gabriel Wood - 2020 - Journal of Military Ethics 19 (3):220-240.
    Warfare is becoming increasingly automated, from automatic missile defense systems to micro-UAVs (WASPs) that can maneuver through urban environments with ease, and each advance brings with it ethical questions in need of resolving. Proponents of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) provide varied arguments in their favor; robots are capable of better identifying combatants and civilians, thus reducing "collateral damage"; robots need not protect themselves and so can incur more risks to protect innocents or gather more information before using deadly force; (...)
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  11. Jewish Law, Techno-Ethics, and Autonomous Weapon Systems: Ethical-Halakhic Perspectives.Nadav S. Berman - 2020 - Jewish Law Association Studies 29:91-124.
    Techno-ethics is the area in the philosophy of technology which deals with emerging robotic and digital AI technologies. In the last decade, a new techno-ethical challenge has emerged: Autonomous Weapon Systems (AWS), defensive and offensive (the article deals only with the latter). Such AI-operated lethal machines of various forms (aerial, marine, continental) raise substantial ethical concerns. Interestingly, the topic of AWS was almost not treated in Jewish law and its research. This article thus proposes an introductory ethical-halakhic perspective on AWS, (...)
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  12. What Can Be Asked of Interrogators?”.Michael Skerker - 2020 - In Interrogation and Torture: Efficacy, Morality, and Law. Oxford, UK:
    The article assesses different models of professional ethics and develops a model which sees professional imperatives as the institutionally-guided expression of foundational moral principles. This article uses the model to assess the moral pressures placed on interrogators in undercover operations in which a detective poses as a suspect in pre-arraignment holding. While highly effective, the level of empathetic rapport required risks incurring compassion fatigue and burn out on the part of detectives.
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  13. Autonomous Weapons Systems and the Moral Equality of Combatants.Michael Skerker, Duncan Purves & Ryan Jenkins - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 3 (6).
    To many, the idea of autonomous weapons systems (AWS) killing human beings is grotesque. Yet critics have had difficulty explaining why it should make a significant moral difference if a human combatant is killed by an AWS as opposed to being killed by a human combatant. The purpose of this paper is to explore the roots of various deontological concerns with AWS and to consider whether these concerns are distinct from any concerns that also apply to long- distance, human-guided weaponry. (...)
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  14. The Future of War: The Ethical Potential of Leaving War to Lethal Autonomous Weapons.Steven Umbrello, Phil Torres & Angelo F. De Bellis - 2020 - AI and Society 35 (1):273-282.
    Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWs) are robotic weapons systems, primarily of value to the military, that could engage in offensive or defensive actions without human intervention. This paper assesses and engages the current arguments for and against the use of LAWs through the lens of achieving more ethical warfare. Specific interest is given particularly to ethical LAWs, which are artificially intelligent weapons systems that make decisions within the bounds of their ethics-based code. To ensure that a wide, but not exhaustive, survey (...)
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  15. Arguments for Banning Autonomous Weapon Systems: A Critique.Hunter Cantrell - 2019 - Dissertation,
    Autonomous Weapon Systems (AWS) are the next logical advancement for military technology. There is a significant concern though that by allowing such systems on the battlefield, we are collectively abdicating our moral responsibility. In this thesis, I will examine two arguments that advocate for a total ban on the use of AWS. I call these arguments the “Responsibility” and the “Agency” arguments. After presenting these arguments, I provide my own objections and demonstrate why these arguments fail to convince. I then (...)
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  16. Conspiring with the Enemy: The Ethic of Cooperation in Warfare.Yvonne Chiu - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press.
    *North American Society for Social Philosophy (NASSP) Book Award 2019.* -/- *International Studies Association (ISA) - International Ethics Section Book Award 2021.* -/- Although military mores have relied primarily on just war theory, the ethic of cooperation in warfare (ECW)—between enemies even as they are trying to kill each other—is as central to the practice of warfare and to conceptualization of its morality. Neither game theory nor unilateral moral duties (God-given or otherwise) can explain the explicit language of cooperation in (...)
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  17. Risks, Robots, and the Honorableness of the Military Profession.Peter Olsthoorn - 2019 - In Bernhard Koch (ed.), Chivalrous Combatants? The Meaning of Military Virtue Past and Present. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. pp. 161 - 178.
    1. Introduction 2. What honor is 3. Honor in the military 4. The use of robots and the honorableness of the military profession 5. Conclusion.
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  18. Dual Loyalty in Military Medical Ethics: A Moral Dilemma or a Test of Integrity?Peter Olsthoorn - 2019 - Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps 165 (4):282-283.
    When militaries mention loyalty as a value they mean loyalty to colleagues and the organisation. Loyalty to principle, the type of loyalty that has a wider scope, plays hardly a role in the ethics of most armed forces. Where military codes, oaths and values are about the organisation and colleagues, medical ethics is about providing patient care impartially. Being subject to two diverging professional ethics can leave military medical personnel torn between the wish to act loyally towards colleagues, and the (...)
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  19. Ethiek Voor Cyberkrijg En Cyberkrijgers.Peter Olsthoorn - 2019 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 111 (1):95-109.
    Although some claim that the term cyber war is merely metaphorical, there are good reasons to see cyber war as a form of warfare ‐ even if it is not war as we have hitherto known it. This poses the question whether the principles of the Just War Tradition, which claims to offer an alternative for pacifism and realism, apply to this specific kind of war too. This article argues that the jus in bello principles of discrimination and proportionality are (...)
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  20. Cannibals, Gun-Deckers, and Good Idea Fairies: Structural Incentives to Deceive in the Military.Michael Skerker - 2019 - In Michael Skerker, David Whetham & Donald Carrick (eds.), Military Virtues. London, UK:
    Case studies about institutional pressures encouraging dishonesty in the US Navy.
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  21. Compassion for Enemies.Michael Skerker & John Sattler - 2019 - In David Whetham, Michael Skerker & Donald Carrick (eds.), Military Virtues. London, UK:
    A case study exploring the importance of compassion for enemies appealing to a series of targeting decisions, co-written with the senior Marine in Iraq in 2003-4.
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  22. Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Designing War Machines with Values.Steven Umbrello - 2019 - Delphi: Interdisciplinary Review of Emerging Technologies 1 (2):30-34.
    Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWs) have becomes the subject of continuous debate both at national and international levels. Arguments have been proposed both for the development and use of LAWs as well as their prohibition from combat landscapes. Regardless, the development of LAWs continues in numerous nation-states. This paper builds upon previous philosophical arguments for the development and use of LAWs and proposes a design framework that can be used to ethically direct their development. The conclusion is that the philosophical arguments (...)
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  23. Clinical Care and Complicity with Torture.Zackary Berger, Leonard Rubenstein & Matt Decamp - 2018 - British Medical Journal 360:k449.
    The UN Convention against Torture defines torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person” by someone acting in an official capacity for purposes such as obtaining a confession or punishing or intimidating that person.1 It is unethical for healthcare professionals to participate in torture, including any use of medical knowledge or skill to facilitate torture or allow it to continue, or to be present during torture.2-7 Yet medical participation (...)
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  24. Noua filosofie si securitatea.Sarbu Ion - 2018 - Revista Militara. Studii de Securitate Si Aparare 19 (1):58-67.
    Ecosophy or ecological wisdom – the new philosophy of contemporary life is also a philosophy of security, digital content, tolerance; it is a philosophy of survival and sustainable development of man, society and nature. Man, society as well as science currently need and will need a new philosophy – ecosophy. All together and each one in part they are based on security, first of all on human security. The interaction of philosophy with science occurs historically through three main stages. The (...)
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  25. Autonomous Weapon Systems, Asymmetrical Warfare, and Myth.Michal Klincewicz - 2018 - Civitas. Studia Z Filozofii Polityki 23:179-195.
    Predictions about autonomous weapon systems are typically thought to channel fears that drove all the myths about intelligence embodied in matter. One of these is the idea that the technology can get out of control and ultimately lead to horrifi c consequences, as is the case in Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein. Given this, predictions about AWS are sometimes dismissed as science-fiction fear-mongering. This paper considers several analogies between AWS and other weapon systems and ultimately offers an argument that nuclear weapons (...)
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  26. The Ethics of Border Guarding: A First Exploration and a Research Agenda for the Future.Peter Olsthoorn - 2018 - Ethics and Education 13 (2):157-171.
    Although the notion of universal human rights allows for the idea that states (and supranational organizations such as the European Union) can, or even should, control and impose restrictions on migration, both notions clearly do not sit well together. The ensuing tension manifests itself in our ambivalent attitude towards migration, but also affects the border guards who have to implement national and supranational policies on migration. Little has been written on the ethics that has to guide these border guards in (...)
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  27. Deploying Racist Soldiers: A Critical Take on the 'Right Intention' Requirement of Just War Theory.Nathan Wood - 2018 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 32 (1):53-74.
    In a recent article Duncan Purves, Ryan Jenkins, and B. J. Strawser argue that in order for a decision in war to be just, or indeed the decision to resort to war to be just, it must be the case that the decision is made for the right reasons. Furthermore, they argue that this requirement holds regardless of how much good is produced by said action. In this essay I argue that their argument is flawed, in that it mistakes what (...)
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  28. Dubik J M Just War Reconsidered: Strategy, Ethics, and Theory. [REVIEW]Edmund Byrne - 2017 - Michigan War Studies Review 2017 (044).
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  29. The Trolley Problem and the Dropping of Atomic Bombs.Masahiro Morioka - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 7 (2):316-337.
    In this paper, the ethical and spiritual aspects of the trolley problem are discussed in connection with the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. First, I show that the dropping of atomic bombs was a typical example of the events that contained the logic of the trolley problems in their decision-making processes and justifications. Second, I discuss five aspects of “the problem of the trolley problem;” that is to say, “Rarity,” “Inevitability,” “Safety Zone,” “Possibility of Becoming a Victim,” (...)
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  30. Situations and Dispositions: How to Rescue the Military Virtues From Social Psychology.Peter Olsthoorn - 2017 - Journal of Military Ethics 16 (1-2):78-93.
    In recent years, it has been argued more than once that situations determine our conduct to a much greater extent than our character does. This argument rests on the findings of social psychologists such as Stanley Milgram, who have popularized the idea that we can all be brought to harm innocent others. An increasing number of philosophers and ethicists make use of such findings, and some of them have argued that this so-called situationist challenge fatally undermines virtue ethics. As virtue (...)
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  31. Defining War.Jessica Wolfendale - 2017 - In Michael Gross & Tamar Meisels (eds.), Soft War: The Ethics of Unarmed Conflict. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. pp. 16-32.
    In international law and just war theory, war is treated as normatively and legally unique. In the context of international law, war’s special status gives rise to a specific set of belligerent rights and duties, as well as a complex set of laws related to, among other things, the status of civilians, prisoners of war, trade and economic relationships, and humanitarian aid. In particular, belligerents are permitted to derogate from certain human rights obligations and to use lethal force in a (...)
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  32. Ethics of War as a Part of Military Ethics.Jovan Babić - 2016 - In Th R. Elssner & R. Janke (ed.), Didactics of Military Ethics. Brill Nijhoff. pp. 120-126.
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  33. Ethics of War as a Part of Military Ethics.Jovan Babic - 2016 - In Didactics of Military Ethics. Leiden/Boston: pp. 120-126.
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  34. A Dichotomy of Conflicting Duties.Jeff Montrose - 2016 - In Thomas R. Elssner & Reinhold Janke (eds.), Didactics of Military Ethics: From Theory to Practice. Brill. pp. 158-72.
    This paper explores the dichotomy of a soldier’s conflicting duties found in contemporary conflicts such as Iraq or Afghanistan. These two conflicting duties, the traditional duty of kill-destroy and the mutually exhaustive duty of help-build, often collide at the tactical level in the complex environment of modern conflicts. When these two duties collide, it holds potential for tragic consequences that go beyond the tactical level where they occur and can have strategic impact.
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  35. Integrity, Moral Courage and Innere Führung.Peter Olsthoorn - 2016 - Ethics and Armed Forces 3 (1):32-36.
    The aim of this paper is to examine the usefulness of the somewhat related notions of integrity, moral courage, and Innere Führung (the leadership concept used by the German military) as a means of making military personnel behave ethically. Of these three notions, integrity is mentioned most often within military organizations, and the largest part of what follows is therefore devoted to a description of what integrity is, and what the drawbacks of this notion are for the military. This will (...)
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  36. Uzasadnienie Sprzeciwu Sumienia: Lekarze, Poborowi I Żołnierze.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2016 - Diametros 47:98-128.
    I will argue that physicians have an ethical obligation to justify their conscientious objection and the most reliable interpretation of the Polish legal framework claims that conscientious objection is permissible only when the justification shows the genuineness of the judgment of conscience that is not based on false beliefs and arises from a moral norm that has a high rank. I will demonstrate that the dogma accepted in the Polish doctrine that the reasons that lie behind conscientious objection in medicine (...)
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  37. Woods C., Sudden Justice: America's Secret Drone Wars. [REVIEW]Edmund Byrne - 2015 - Michigan War Studies Review 2015 (106).
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  38. Not Just Cyberwarfare.Bruce Christianson - 2015 - Philosophy and Technology 28 (3):359-363.
    Bringsjord and Licato provide a general meta-argument that cyberwarfare is so different from traditional kinetic warfare that no argument from analogy can allow the just war theory of Augustine and Aquinas to be pulled over from traditional warfare to cyberwarfare. I believe that this meta-argument is sound and that it applies not just to cyberwarfare: in particular, on my reading of the meta-argument, argument from analogy has never been adequate to allow JWT to be applied to the kind of warfare (...)
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  39. Just War and Non-Combatants in the Private Military Industry.Paul Richard Daniels - 2015 - Journal of Military Ethics 14 (2):146-161.
    I argue that, according to Just War Theory, those who work as administrative personnel in the private military industry can be permissibly harmed while at work by enemy combatants. That is, for better or worse, a Just War theorist should consider all those who work as administrative personnel in the private military industry either: (i) individuals who may be permissibly restrained with lethal force while at work, or (ii) individuals who may be harmed by permissible attacks against their workplace. In (...)
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  40. Autonomous Weapons Systems, the Frame Problem and Computer Security.Michał Klincewicz - 2015 - Journal of Military Ethics 14 (2):162-176.
    Unlike human soldiers, autonomous weapons systems are unaffected by psychological factors that would cause them to act outside the chain of command. This is a compelling moral justification for their development and eventual deployment in war. To achieve this level of sophistication, the software that runs AWS will have to first solve two problems: the frame problem and the representation problem. Solutions to these problems will inevitably involve complex software. Complex software will create security risks and will make AWS critically (...)
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  41. Military Genomic Testing: Proportionality, Expected Benefits, and the Connection Between Genotypes and Phenotypes.Charles H. Pence - 2015 - Journal of Law and the Biosciences 2 (1):85-91.
    Mehlman and Li offer a framework for approaching the bioethical issues raised by the military use of genomics that is compellingly grounded in both the contemporary civilian and military ethics of medical research, arguing that military commanders must be bound by the two principles of paternal- ism and proportionality. I agree fully. But I argue here that this is a much higher bar than we may fully realize. Just as the principle of proportionality relies upon a thorough assessment of harms (...)
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  42. Jus Ante Bellum.Roger Wertheimer - 2015 - In George Lucas (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Military Ethics. Routledge. pp. 54-68.
    Critical analysis of development of concept of jus ante bellum.
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  43. Gardner, L. C. Killing Machine: The American Presidency in the Age of Drone Warfare. [REVIEW]Edmund Byrne - 2014 - Michigan War Studies Review 2014 (045).
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  44. Il buon soldato e l’agente virtuoso: Hume e la military glory.Lorenzo Greco - 2014 - In Maurizio Balistreri, Maurizio Benato & Maurizio Mori (eds.), Etica medica nella vita militare: per iniziare una riflessione, vol. 1. Value – Ananke. pp. 107-115.
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  45. Virtue Ethics in the Military.Peter Olsthoorn - 2014 - In Stan van Hooft (ed.), The Handbook of Virtue Ethics. Routledge. pp. 365-374.
    In addition to the traditional reliance on rules and codes in regulating the conduct of military personnel, most of today’s militaries put their money on character building in trying to make their soldiers virtuous. Especially in recent years it has time and again been argued that virtue ethics, with its emphasis on character building, provides a better basis for military ethics than deontological ethics or utilitarian ethics. Although virtue ethics comes in many varieties these days, in many texts on military (...)
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  46. Pacifism, Supreme Emergency, and Moral Tragedy.Nicholas Parkin - 2014 - Social Theory and Practice 40 (4):631-648.
    This paper develops and defends a new way for pacifists to deal with the problem of supreme emergency. In it I argue that a supreme emergency in which some disaster can only be prevented by modern war is a morally tragic situation. This means that a leader faced with a supreme emergency acts unjustifiably in both allowing something terrible to occur, as well as in waging war to prevent it. I also argue that we may have cause to excuse from (...)
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  47. Collateral Damage and the Principle of Due Care.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2014 - Journal of Military Ethics 13 (1):94-105.
    This article focuses on the ethical implications of so-called ‘collateral damage’. It develops a moral typology of collateral harm to innocents, which occurs as a side effect of military or quasi-military action. Distinguishing between accidental and incidental collateral damage, it introduces four categories of such damage: negligent, oblivious, knowing and reckless collateral damage. Objecting mainstream versions of the doctrine of double effect, the article argues that in order for any collateral damage to be morally permissible, violent agents must comply with (...)
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  48. Just Cause and 'Right Intention'.Uwe Steinhoff - 2014 - Journal of Military Ethics 13 (1):32-48.
    I argue that the criterion of just cause is not independent of proportionality and other valid jus ad bellum criteria. One cannot know whether there is a just cause without knowing whether the other (valid) criteria (apart from ‘right intention’) are satisfied. The advantage of this account is that it is applicable to all wars, even to wars where nobody will be killed or where the enemy has not committed a rights violation but can be justifiably warred against anyway. This (...)
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  49. Moral Autonomy in Australian Legislation and Military Doctrine.Richard Adams - 2013 - Ethics and Global Politics 6 (3):135-154.
    "Australian legislation and military doctrine stipulate that soldiers ‘subjugate their will’ to" "government, and fight in any war the government declares. Neither legislation nor doctrine enables the conscience of soldiers. Together, provisions of legislation and doctrine seem to take soldiers for granted. And, rather than strengthening the military instrument, the convention of legislation and doctrine seems to weaken the democratic foundations upon which the military may be shaped as a force for justice. Denied liberty of their conscience, soldiers are denied (...)
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  50. Swarms Are Hell: Warfare as an Anti-Transhuman Choice.Woody Evans - 2013 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 23 (1):56-60.
    The use of advanced technologies, even of so-called transhuman technology, does not make militaries transhuman. Transhumanism includes dimensions of ethics that are themselves in direct conflict with many transhuman capabilities of soldiers in warfare. The use of advanced weapons of mass destruction represents an anti-humanism that undermines the modern, open, and high-tech nation state.
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