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Instrumental authority and its challenges: the case of the laws of war

Parry, Jonathan and Viehoff, Daniel (2019) Instrumental authority and its challenges: the case of the laws of war. Ethics, 129 (4). pp. 548-575. ISSN 0014-1704

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Identification Number: 10.1086/702972


Law and Morality at War offers a broadly instrumentalist defense of the authority of the laws of war: these laws serve combatants by helping them come closer to doing what they have independent moral reason to do. We argue that this form of justification (invoked by many legal and political theorists) sets too low a bar. An authority’s directives are not binding, on instrumental grounds, if the subject could, within certain limits, adopt an alternative, and superior, means of conforming to morality’s demands. It emerges that Haque’s argument fails to vindicate the law’s authority over all (or even most) combatants.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 Elsevier
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: K Law
J Political Science
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2019 15:21
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:42

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