Review of F. M. Kamm's Ethics for Enemies: Terror, Torture and War

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    In this monograph based on her Uehiro Lectures at Oxford University, F. M. Kamm applies theoretical perspectives and distinctions she developed elsewhere[1] to some aspects of three related areas of practical moral concern, namely, torture, terrorism and war (with one chapter devoted to each of these areas). More specifically, she discusses: (1) the moral justification for torturing those responsible for creating lethal threats (as in, for example, ticking-time-bomb scenarios); (2) whether the intention to harm innocent civilians accounts for the special wrongness of terrorism; and (3) two of the conditions necessary for going to war according to traditional just war theory, namely, right reason (e.g., self-defence) and the need to avoid evil effects which are disproportionately large relative to the good effects. This book displays the impressive conceptual sophistication, argumentative rigor and use of imaginary examples characteristic of Kamm's philosophical work. It is a valuable addition to the theoretical literature.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    Number of pages6
    JournalNotre Dame Philosophical Reviews
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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