Michael Walzer on the Moral Legitimacy of States and the Morality of Killing in War
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This thesis is divided into two chapters. In the first chapter, I analyze Michael Walzerâ s account of the moral legitimacy of states. In the second chapter, I analyze his account of the morality of killing in war. I begin the first chapter by contrasting Walzerâ s account of state legitimacy and humanitarian intervention with that of David Luban. Next, I develop a Rawlsian account of state legitimacy and humanitarian intervention and argue that this account is more plausible than both Walzerâ s and Lubanâ s accounts. The second chapter is divided into two parts. In the first part, I argue that Walzerâ s account of the distinction between combatants and noncombatants is misleading because it gives the impression that all and only infantry soldiers are combatants and that all and only civilians are noncombatants. In the second part of the second chapter, I describe an account of the morality of killing in war developed by Jeff McMahan that is based on an analogy with the morality of killing in domestic society and argue that this account is more plausible than Walzerâ s account of the morality of killing in war. I also suggest a way that McMahanâ s account could be improved.
- Masters Theses