Summary & Notes on Walzer’s “Against Realism” and Nagel's "“War & Massacre”
Summary & Notes on Walzer’s “Against Realism” and Nagel's "“War & Massacre” Phil 395
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Em Dorothy on Friday November 20, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Phil 395 at a university taught by Lisa Rivera in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 68 views.
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Date Created: 11/20/15
Walzer’s “Against Realism” People do immoral things in war. But war is subject to moral assessment. Wars can be wrong and unjust and what people do in wars can be wrong and unjust. What are some main reasons for the claim that ‘inter arma silent leges’ [in war, the law is silent…] o Statement of naked selfinterest o All’s fair in love and war But: we use rich moral language to talk about both love and war What is military necessity? What is historical relativism? o False o Means the idea that moral truth is relative to historical circumstances o Walzer denies that actions in war are relative o Lying is clear evidence of universal, unchanging values What are some reasons for or against these positions? Are there some moral notions that are universal across historical periods? Moral conventionalism: morality is only binding when it is made conventional (via an agreement); in international sphere, there is no agreement because there is no sovereign to enforce the rules of morality People have real moral concerns; there are certain rules that people have (because they have moral beliefs; are moral people; have historically agreed to moral rules) Nagel, “War & Massacre” What is the moral basis of war restrictions [jus in bello prohibitions]? Can we create a rational basis for war restrictions? Utilitarianism/Consequentialism We use consequentialist type thinking all the time, try to maximize good outcomes The moral theory says tat it is the right thing to do The right thing to do is to do that thing that will maximize good consequences more than any other thing one could do Maximize good; minimize evil Absolutism Absolutist prohibitions are about what one does deliberately Doctrine of the doubleeffect points out that actions can be the cause of multiple effects, some of which one intends, some of which one doesn’t intend o Kind of like a loophole o Every action can have multiple effects – some unknown o Difference between allowing something and doing something we address hostility to a person the reason absolutism makes sense is because we cant justify to the victim of a violation of prohibitions what we are doing to him in the name of good consequences some restrictions are of mutual benefit 2 types of restrictions o those that limit who can be attacked o limit how they can be attacked