Torture and Moral Integrity: A Philosophical Enquiry

ISBN : 9780198842590

Matthew H. Kramer
368 Pages
163 x 234 mm
Pub date
Feb 2019
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Torture and Moral Integrity tackles a concrete moral problem that has been hotly debated by governments, scholars, and the media: the morality of interrogational torture. It discusses multiple types of torture with great philosophical acuity and seeks to explain why interrogational torture and other types of torture are always and everywhere morally wrong. At the same time, it rigorously plumbs the general structure of morality and the intricacies of moral conflicts and probes some of the chief grounds for the moral illegitimacy of various modes of conduct. It defends a deontological conception of morality against the subtle critiques that have been mounted over the past few decades by proponents of consequentialism. Kramer's recommendations concerning the legal consequences of the perpetration of torture by public officials or private individuals, for example, are based squarely on his more abstract accounts of the nature of torture and the nature of morality. His philosophical reflections on the structure of morality are a vital background for his approach to torture, and his approach to torture is a natural outgrowth of those philosophical reflections.


1 Introduction I: Moral Conflicts and Deontology
2 Introduction II: What is Torture?
3 Why Torture is Wrong
4 The Rationality of Deontological Constraints
5 Legal Responses to Torture

About the author: 

Matthew H. Kramer is Professor of Legal and Political Philosophy at the University of Cambridge; Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge; and Director of the Cambridge Forum for Legal & Political Philosophy. He is the author of thirteen previous books and the co-editor of four other books.

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