Ethics of War and Peace: Study Guide for Midterm Test (updated) The midterm test is October 29 (postponed from 10/27, by student request. You will need a #2 pencil, blue or black ink pen, and a scantron mini essay book (not regular blue book) available in the bookstore. Be sure to get the mini essay book which has space for both multiple choice and essay questions. If you don‟t have the right kind of mini-essay book, you will need to go to the bookstore to get it or hope another student lends you one. You should be prepared to answer multiple choice or essay questions dealing with questions similar to those below, many of which point to overlapping themes. Actual questions may be modifications of some of those below or combinations of different elements from different questions. Preparing lines of thought in response to the questions below will help you, but answer the exact question asked on the midterm, not a "canned" answer that you prepared beforehand. You may bring a 5x8 card with notes (both sides) or one side of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Minimum 8 point font; no mechanical reduction. 1. "War is a world apart, where self-interest and necessity prevail...We can neither praise nor blame..." Develop Walzer's response to this "realist" claim and give examples of how he supports his position. 2. How does the legalist paradigm respond to the question of what wars are just wars? Discuss the values that underlie the legalist paradigm. What revisions of the legalist paradigm does Walzer recommend? To what extent do these revisions respect the notions of political sovereignty and territorial integrity? What moral considerations, if any, are brought to bear to limit the force of political sovereignty and territorial integrity? How, according to Walzer, do even the revisions help to sustain the core idea behind the legalist paradigm, the idea of communal autonomy? 3. What, according to Walzer is the moral basis of nation-states? What individual rights are sustained by giving states the rights of national sovereignty and territorial integrity? In your explanation incorporate the idea of a “common life,” Walzer‟s nation of pluralism (in the Luban-Walzer debate), and his claim that “we want to live in an international society where communities of men and women freely shape their separate destinies.” (p. 72, my emphasis). The next three questions deal with different and overlapping elements of the debate between Walzer and Luban. 4. Develop Luban's main line of criticism to Walzer and Walzer's response to it. Discuss what you take to be the underlying issues that separate Luban and Walzer. What arguments can be offered on each side of those issues? 5. Luban claims “surely the fact that it is a foreign rather than a domestic oppressor is not a morally relevant factor, for that would imply that oppressions can be sorted on moral grounds according to the race or nationality of the oppressor.” (p. 214). How would Walzer respond? Keep in mind Walzer‟s account in Just and Unjust Wars of when it is appropriate to violate a state‟s sovereignty in wars of national liberation compared to when it is appropriate to violate a state‟s sovereignty to prevent domestic oppression. How does Walzer justify his position? Study Guide for Test page 2 6. Luban and Walzer: universalism and cosmopolitanism versus relativism and pluralism. a) Luban criticizes Walzer for embracing “the romance of the nation-state” and claims that Walzer has replaced the idea of universal, cosmopolitan human rights with a kind of relativism (Luban, p. 239). Explain why Luban makes this claim. b) Walzer, I think, would claim that philosophically he is not an ethical relativist but that politically, especially in international affairs, he advocates pluralism. Explain how Walzer would defend the consistency of these two ideas, philosophical universalism in ethics and political pluralism. Some relevant passages: “We want to live in an international society where communities of men and women freely shape their separate destinies [my emphasis].” (Just and Unjust Wars, p. 72) “Communal life and liberty requires the existence of „relatively self-enclosed arenas of political development.‟” (“The Moral Standing of States: A Response to Four Critics,” p. 236. Also see p. 223, bottom section. 7. Walzer and the current war in Iraq and the “war on terrorism.” Be prepared to do either or both of the following: a) Discuss a few claims of Walzer‟s that seem especially applicable to the current wars. (Iraq and “war on terrorism.” Actual test may specify one or the other.) Indicate how, if Walzer‟s claims are considered to be sound, they would dictate particular courses of action.” (Perhaps especially relevant here are his notions of legitimate ends in a war (chapter 7) and the permissibility of preventive war (chapter 5). But your own ideas about the relevance of other sections would be welcome. b) Criticize Walzer with the claim that “the events of September 11 show that Walzer‟s analysis needs radical revision” and/or (more moderate claim) that “the current war on terrorism introduces important elements not taken into account by Walzer‟s analysis.” 8. Argue for or against one (or more) of the following claims: (Consider these as marking out possible directions for your major essay.) a) Walzer‟s analysis can provide a basis for supporting the moral appropriateness of American actions in relation to the war in Iraq. b) Walzer‟s analysis can provide a basis for criticizing the moral appropriateness of American actions in relation to the war in Iraq. c) Walzer‟s analysis, if assumed to be true and applied to American actions in Iraq, shows that some American actions with respect to Iraq have been morally defensible and other actions have been morally indefensible. (Specify and explain why in each case.) d) The situation that the US faces with respect to Iraq offers grounds for criticizing Walzer’s position. (For example, you might claim that his analysis would lead to certain conclusions agreeing or disagreeing with the US position but that his analysis can be shown to be flawed.) 9. Explain why Walzer‟s view of moral inquiry into war would oppose this kind of statement: “of course torturing people who have information on terrorist attacks is morally wrong, but it‟s something we may have to do.” Explain how Walzer‟s view involves incorporating a Study Guide for Test page 3 consideration of consequences and yet why Walzer is not a utilitarian. Use the concept of prima facie rights and rules in your explanation. 10. How might one (like Walzer) argue that it is noble to fight for human rights and yet it may not be morally appropriate to fight for pure justice in the face of overwhelming power? Why would Walzer insist that his position on this issue is not purely utilitarian. (Consider the Finland example he cites.) 11. A theme in Walzer‟s treatment of rules for moral behavior in war (even a just war) is a rejection of both a purely utilitarian approach and a rejection of absolute rules. Explain. 12. Explain Sidgwick‟s “utility and proportionality” approach to rules in war. What does Walzer find valuable in it? Why does he ultimately reject it? 13. Explain the “doctrine of double effect.” Why does Walzer also reject this approach? What does Walzer substitute for it? How does the example of Frank Richards illustrate Walzer‟s position? 14. Explain how Sidgwick‟s approach, the doctrine of double effect, and Walzer‟s approach would each apply to American action against terrorists (who often blend in with civilians) in Afghanistan or in Iraq. 15. How does Walzer distinguish morally between assassins and modern-day terrorists? How would Walzer argue against terrorism? What is the strongest ethical argument that could be made in favor of terrorist actions in some circumstances? 16. Why would Walzer strongly oppose the idea that “one man‟s freedom-fighter is another man‟s terrorist? 17. Explain the main conditions for proper conduct in a “holy war” according to Johnson‟s account of Islamic ethics of war. How does it compare to standard Western accounts, as explicated by Walzer?
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