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Second edition
Author: A. J. Coates

Though the just war tradition has an ancient pedigree, like any tradition of thought, it is subject to historical highs and lows. Drawing on examples from the history of warfare from the Crusades to the present day, this book explores the limits and possibilities of the moral regulation of war. It focuses on the tensions which exist between war and morality. The moral ambiguity and mixed record of that tradition is acknowledged and the dangers which an exaggerated view of the justice or moral worth of war poses are underlined. The adoption of a 'dispositional' view of ethical life, in which moral character and moral culture play a decisive part, widens and transforms the ethics of war. Realism resists the application of morality to war. Pacifism harms and benefits the just war tradition in about equal measure. 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. Moral realism is what the just war tradition purports to be about. Legitimate authority has become entirely subordinated to the concept of state sovereignty. If moderate forms of consequentialism threaten the principle of noncombatant immunity, more extreme or purer forms clearly undermine it. The strategic and the ethical problems of counterterrorism are compounded by the emergence of a new and more extreme form of terrorism.

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Rules and ethics
Morgan Clarke and Emily

emphasis on shaping the self in accordance with models of virtue, but not necessarily other aspects of ethical life. In this vein, the relationship of rule to self has most often been portrayed as one of internalisation. 3 Yet this obscures some of the most important aspects of rule-oriented morality, namely, the tension between general rules and the particular circumstances that life imposes. The idea of conscience, on the other hand, invokes precisely the sense of dilemma and reflection often experienced by those who adhere to

in Rules and ethics
Just war, past and present
A. J. Coates

cannot rely exclusively on philosophical argument as it is usually understood’ (Buchanan 2006, p. 5). The adoption of a ‘dispositional’ view of ethical life, in which moral character and moral culture play a decisive part, widens and transforms the ethics of war. Moral criticism is informed by an understanding of the contingent and variable circumstances that shape the moral conduct of war, in which the vices of unjust belligerents are of at least as much interest as the virtues of just warriors, being just as germane to the moral restraint of war. The capacity to act

in The ethics of war
Open Access (free)
M. Anne Brown

not understood as simply ad hoc fragments of humanity. Rather, state-building practices over several centuries ensured that they came to take on the mantle of fundamental unit of political community, the sine qua non of human community and, to a greater or lesser extent, the theatre of ethical life. Moreover, in the dominant versions at least, states came to be understood as constituted by an essentially uniform people, whether that uniformity was conceived of as the expression of ethnicity, shared culture and will, as the assemblage of atomised individuals

in Human rights and the borders of suffering
David McGrogan

them right in his own mind – & if he is fortunate, in his own life.” 114 Both conclusions can be called conservative. 115 It is perhaps more accurate to describe them as existentialist. Irrespective of that, it suggests that if political organisation is to properly respect human dignity or the process of self-enactment which is the basis of the moral/ethical life, it must be predicated on a system of law which is absent of the imposition of telos . The governmentalisation of global human rights governance as an enterprise association Having set out the

in Critical theory and human rights
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Perspectives from anthropology and history

This book examines the importance of rules for many of the world’s great moral traditions. Ethical systems characterised by detailed rules – Islamic sharia and Christian casuistry are notable examples – have often been dismissed as empty formalism or as the instrument of social control. This book demonstrates, on the contrary, that rules often enable, rather than hinder, personal ethical life. Here anthropologists and historians explore cases of rule-oriented ethics and their dynamics across a wide range of historical and contemporary moral traditions. Examples of pre-modern Hindu ethics, codes of civility from early modern England and medieval Christian casuistry demonstrate how rules can form an essential element of what Michel Foucault called ‘the care of the self’. Studies of Roman exemplary ethics, early modern Christian theology and the calculation of sin and merit in contemporary Muslim Palestine highlight the challenges posed by the coexistence of moral rules with other moral forms, not least those of virtue ethics. Finally, explorations of medieval and modern Islamic sharia, Christian moral theology and Jewish halakhah all highlight how such traditions develop complex meta-rules – rules about rules – for managing the tensions and dilemmas that the use of rules can entail. Together, these case studies and the theoretical framework proposed in the book’s Introduction offer a more nuanced, cross-cultural appreciation of the role of rules in moral life than those currently prevalent in both the anthropology of ethics and the history of morality.

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James Laidlaw

James Laidlaw In one of the most influential works of Anglophone moral philosophy of the second half of the twentieth century, Bernard Williams ( 1985 ) sought to challenge what he saw as the historical and cultural parochialism of the discipline at the time, by suggesting that it was imaginatively confined within a specific, rather narrow conception of ethical life that had come to be so dominant in the modern, post-Christian West that it prevented people from recognising as ethical at all

in Rules and ethics
On mediated unity and overarching legal-political form
Darrow Schecter

unreflective national allegiance even if, on the basis of a literal reading of texts such as the Philosophy of Right, he sometimes seems to justify colonialism, Eurocentrism, and excesses of executive power.12 Although his theory of state has been consistently translated as a ‘philosophy of right’, the theory is more centrally concerned with the mediating functions performed by Sittlichkeit (usually translated as ethical life) in general, and by law in particular. As the second premise of post-​feudal statehood suggests, it would be difficult to argue that force is the

in Critical theory and sociological theory
Islam and divine bookkeeping in Nablus (Palestine)
Emanuel Schaeublin

focus of bookkeeping, as they imagine it, is on relations between people. Consciousness of its dilemmas appears in face-to-face interactions (Schaeublin 2019 ), rather than in secluded settings of introspection or confession. Divine bookkeeping includes any minor act in a person’s relation with God and with others. It is part of a ‘scaffolding of shared meaning’ (see the Introduction ) that gives rise to a vision of Muslim ethical life as ‘an ongoing exchange of blessing, prosperity, and fortune, for good deeds, merits

in Rules and ethics
Dialogue as normative grounds and object of critique
Naomi Head

less important, simply that they can only be judged from the perspective of the particular. However, as Habermas has admitted, ‘Moral judgements, decoupled from concrete ethical life (Sittlichkeit), no longer immediately carry the motivational power that converts judgements into actions.’ 66 Such a distinction erects certain limitations around Habermas’s theory, limitations

in Justifying violence