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Duty, Obedience, Desert, and Proportionality in War: A Response

Jeff McMahan
Ethics
Vol. 122, No. 1, Symposium on Jeff McMahan’s Killing in War (October 2011), pp. 135-167
DOI: 10.1086/662631
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662631
Page Count: 33
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Abstract

This essay responds to four commentaries on my recently published book, Killing in War. It defends the view that soldiers ought to disobey an order to fight in a war that lacks a just cause, argues against the contractarian approach to the morality of war, develops an explanation of how the number of people who are harmed by defensive action can affect whether that action is proportionate in the “narrow” sense, and seeks to rebut the suggestion that an attacker’s desert may be relevant to the justification for harming him in self-defense.