Why there is no such thing as just war pacifism and why just war theorists and pacifists can talk nonetheless

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Abstract

This article argues that there is no such thing as just war pacifism, and that war theory and pacifism cannot be substantially reconciled in theory and practice. It suggests that that it is the sole task of the moral philosopher of war to tell us whether or not war can be morally justified, and if so when. The author reviews accounts of the nature of the moral conflict under consideration here, demonstrated that both just war theorists and pacifist have in fact engaged with the tragic nature of justified wars, if only in passing. He examines James Sterba's failure to make use of the willingness of the two camps to concede the ultimate inconclusiveness of their case, and outlines how just war theorists and pacifist can find common ground for a more genuine, respectul and empathetic debate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-433
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Theory and Practice
Volume37
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011

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