Terrorism and Collective Responsibility: Response to Narveson and Rosenbaum

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In this paper I consider the general view of terrorism put forward by Jan Narveson in his Pacificism and Terrorism: Why We Should Condemn Both and by Alan Rosenbaum in his On Terrorism and the Just War: Some Philosophical Reflections. This is the view that terrorism is morally indefensible. Contra Narveson and Rosenbaum, I argue that some forms of terrorism are morally defensible in some circumstances. In the first section of the paper I will discuss the definition of terrorism, including the definitions put forward by Narveson and Rosenbaum. In the second section, I will outline an account of collective moral responsibility as a necessary precursor to identifying potentially morally defensible forms of terrorism. In the third section I outline a morally defensible form of terrorism, namely terrorism in which certain categories of morally culpable non-attackers are targeted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-281
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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