Educating for Restraint

In Eric-Hans Kramer & Tine Molendijk (eds.), Violence in Extreme Conditions: Ethical Challenges in Military Practice. Springer. pp. 119-130 (2022)
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Today, many armed forces consider teaching virtues to be an important complement to imposing rules and codes from above. Yet, it is mainly established military virtues such as courage and loyalty that dominate both the lists of virtues and values of most militaries and the growing body of literature on military virtues. Some of these virtues, however, may be less suited for today’s missions, which more often than not require restraint on the part of military personnel. This chapter looks into military ethics education from the perspective of military virtues and addresses the question of what we need to solve the aforementioned misalignment: a new set of virtues, a different interpretation of the existing virtues, or something else altogether?

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Peter Olsthoorn
Netherlands Defence Academy


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