War By Agreement: A Contractarian Ethics of War

ISBN : 9780199577194

Yitzhak Benbaji; Daniel Statman
240 Pages
153 x 234 mm
Pub date
Sep 2019
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War by Agreement presents a new theory on the ethics of war. It shows that wars can be morally justified at both the ad bellum level (the political decision to go to war) and the in bello level (its actual conduct by the military)by accepting a contractarian account of the rules governing war. According to this account, the rules of war are anchored in a mutually beneficial and fair agreement between the relevant players - the purpose of which is to promote peace and to reduce the horrors of war. The book relies on the long social contract tradition and illustrates its fruitfulness in understanding and developing the morality and the law of war.


1 Introduction
2 Foundations of a Non-Individualist Morality
3 A Contractarian Account of the Crime of Aggression
4 The Aims of Just Wars and Jus Ex Bello
5 Contractarianism and the Moral Equality of Combatants
6 Contractarianism and the Moral Equality of Civilians
7 When the Agreement Collapses
8 Concluding Remarks

About the author: 

Yitzhak Benbaji teaches philosophy at Tel-Aviv University Faculty of Law. He previously worked in the Department of Philosophy and in the Faculty of Law at Bar-Ilan University (2002-12). He has been a visiting scholar and professor at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, the University of Toronto, Northwestern University, Yale Law School, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Jerusalem. His fields of interest are just war theory, political theory, theories of distributive justice, and philosophy of language. Among his publication are The View from Within (Notre Dame 2011) and the edited volume Reading Walzer (Routledge 2013).
Daniel Statman is Head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Haifa and former Chair of the Israeli Philosophical Association. He has been a visiting scholar and professor at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, the University of Michigan, and Cardozo Law School. His areas of specialization are ethics, political philosophy, moral psychology, and Jewish philosophy. He is the author and editor of many books and articles, including Moral Dilemmas (Rodopi 1995), Religion and Morality (Rodopi 1995), Moral Luck (SUNY 1993), Virtue Ethics (Edinburgh 1997), and State and Religion in Israel (Cambridge 2019).

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