The just war
in The ethics of war
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In opposition to the amoral and wholly pragmatic approach of the 'pure' realist, the just war theorist insists on the moral determination of war where that is possible, and on the moral renunciation of war where it is not. In opposition to the militarist, the just war theorist consistently affirms the moral primacy of peace over war, resisting the cult of violence and the drift into total war to which militarism in both its open and covert forms is prone. Moral realism is what the just war tradition purports to be about. The realist has few universalist aspirations, and an exaggerated emphasis on state sovereignty with its concomitant principle of non-intervention impedes the kind of moral ordering of international relations favoured by the just war theorist. In its pure, or absolute, form pacifism rejects the fundamental premiss of all just war reasoning.

The ethics of war

Second edition


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