Frances Kamm's "Ethics for Enemies: Terror, Torture & War"

Cover of the book, "Ethics for Enemies"

Ethics for Enemies: Terror, Torture & War

Frances Kamm

Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy

Professor of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts & Sciences

Table of Contents


Ethics for Enemies: Terror, Torture, and War comprises three original philosophical essays on torture, terrorism, and war.  Kamm deploys ethical theory and consideration of cases in new treatments of these controversial practical issues.  First she considers the nature of torture and the various occasions on which it could occur, in order to determine why it might be wrong to torture a wrongdoer held captive even if this were necessary to save his victims. She criticizes other discussions for failing to correctly identify factors crucial to reaching conclusion about torture.  In the second essay, she considers what makes terrorism wrong – whether it is the intention to harm civilians, rather than harm to them being “collateral damage,” or something else, and whether terrorism is always wrong.  The third essay discusses whether having a right reason, in the sense of a right intention, is necessary in order for a war to be just.  Kamm then examines some ways in which the harms of war can be proportional to the achievement of the just cause and other goods that war can bring about, so as to make a declaration of war not unjust.

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