A Defense of the Traditional War Convention*

@article{Benbaji2008ADO,
  title={A Defense of the Traditional War Convention*},
  author={Yitzhak Benbaji},
  journal={Ethics},
  year={2008},
  volume={118},
  pages={464 - 495}
}
The language of self-defense is used both in justifying wars and in articulating what is right and wrong within wars. In particular, the traditional war ethic, especially as Michael Walzer formulates it in his Just and Unjust Wars, strongly suggests that a just war is a large-scale exercise of the right of self-defense. Yet, critics of this traditional doctrine insist that, in fact, the war convention reflects a particularly repugnant conception of the right of self-defense: “The just war… 
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References

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Michael Walzer suggests that our common beliefs about individual responsibility and liability become largely irrelevant in the conduct of war. In conditions of war, everything is changed. Political
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According to the Just War tradition a war can only be just if two sets of principles are satisfied. (1) First there is the jus ad bellum. These principles tell us when it is just to start a war.
The Ethics of Killing in War
This paper argues that certain central tenets of the traditional theory of the just war cannot be correct. It then advances an alternative account grounded in the same considerations of justice that
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According to the purist war ethic, the killings committed by soldiers fighting in just wars are permissible, but those committed by unjust combatants are nothing but murders. Jeff McMahan asserts
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The moral right to act in self-defense seems to be unproblematic: you are allowed to kill an aggressor if doing so is necessary for saving your own life. Indeed, it seems that from the moral
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  • Medicine, Psychology
    Nihon Shika Ishikai zasshi
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McMahan takes them to be devastating
Philosophical Quarterly (forthcoming), I defend the in bello/ad bellum distinction in detail