Journal of Military Ethics 5 (3):183-200 (2006)
AbstractThe military's purpose centrally includes fighting its nation's wars, serving as the nation's sword. The dominant approach to military ethics today, which I will call the ?sword approach?, focuses on this purpose and builds an ethic out of the requirements the purpose imposes on soldiers. Yet recently philosophers such as Shannon French and Nancy Sherman have developed an alternative that I will call the ?shield approach?, which focuses on articulating a warrior code as a moral shield that can safeguard soldiers? humanity through the stresses and losses of war. Arguably, the sword approach is, if necessary, insufficient: the claims of the shield approach must be taken into account. It may seem that a military ethicist could simply employ both approaches in parallel. I will show, however, that the real possibility of conflict between the two approaches, due to their disparity of focus, calls for a more careful reconciliation. I will argue that conceiving military service as a practice in Alasdair MacIntyre's sense makes possible the integration of the central claims of the sword and shield approaches into one coherent and comprehensive military ethic
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References found in this work
Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military Mind.Nancy Sherman - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work
Extending the Theory of Normative Practices: An Application to Two Cases of Networked Military Operations.Christine G. van Burken & Marc J. de Vries - 2012 - Philosophia Reformata 77 (2):135-154.
Battlefield Conditions: Different Environment but the Same Duty of Care.Janet Kelly - 2010 - Nursing Ethics 17 (5):636-645.
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