Evaluating the Revisionist Critique of Just War Theory

Daedalus 146 (1):113-124 (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Modern analytical just war theory starts with Michael Walzer's defense of key tenets of the laws of war in his Just and Unjust Wars. Walzer advocates noncombatant immunity, proportionality, and combatant equality: combatants in war must target only combatants; unintentional harms that they inflict on noncombatants must be proportionate to the military objective secured; and combatants who abide by these principles fight permissibly, regardless of their aims. In recent years, the revisionist school of just war theory, led by Jeff McMahan, has radically undermined Walzer's defense of these principles. This essay situates Walzer's and the revisionists’ arguments, before illustrating the disturbing vision of the morality of war that results from revisionist premises. It concludes by showing how broadly Walzerian conclusions can be defended using more reliable foundations.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-06-18
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Killing in War.McMahan, Jeff
Cosmopolitan War.Fabre, Cécile

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
385 ( #11,341 of 50,116 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
172 ( #2,461 of 50,116 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.