Introduction to the first edition
in The ethics of war
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The ethics of war is not after all exhausted by any single tradition. In the theoretical sphere the tradition has been by far the most prolific in the development of an apparatus of specific moral principles and concepts by means of which the experience of war can be articulated and subjected to systematic moral investigation. The influence of the tradition has not been confined to the realm of moral theorizing. Just war principles and concepts have helped to shape international law in a decisive way. The just war tradition is rooted in a sense of human moral fallibility and the conviction that any moral enterprise, especially one as unpromising as war, is always to a greater or a lesser extent flawed. Its initial moral presumption against war stems from the recognition that at best war is an extremely blunt and imperfect instrument of justice.

The ethics of war

Second edition


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