Ethics of War and Peace Study Guide for Midterm Test (updated) by guy22


									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
    Develop Walzer's response to this "realist" claim and give examples of how he supports his

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

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
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
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

To top