What’s Wrong with Torture?

International Philosophical Quarterly 49 (3):317-332 (2009)
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Abstract

Many of us want to say that there is an absolute—or at least a virtually absolute—prohibition on torturing people. But we live in a world in which firm moral restraints of all sorts are hard to defend. Neither contemporary conventional morality, nor any of the available moral theories, provides adequate support for the deliverances of the “wisdom of repugnance” in this area. Nor do they support casuistry capable of distinguishing torture from forms of rough treatment. I here make some suggestions concerningthe improvement of this situation.

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Philip Devine
Providence College

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