Abstract
Are soldiers to blame for the wars in which they fight? If a war is unjust or illegal, do soldiers bear any responsibility? The traditional, and still dominant, view both in morality and law is that soldiers do not bear responsibility and therefore are not to blame for the wars in which they fight, no matter how unjust or illegal they may be because: a) soldiers are incapable of knowing whether the wars in which they fight are unjust or illegal; and b) even if they are capable of knowing, have no choice but to fight them anyway. Soldiers, in other words, are excused for their participation in unjust and illegal wars by what amounts to reasons of insanity (lack of mental responsibility) and duress (obedience to orders). In this article, I explore whether they should be, especially since soldiers are considered to be responsible and therefore blameworthy for what they do (or fail to do) in war and rarely, if ever, excused by reasons of insanity or duress
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 1077-1999
DOI 10.5840/pcw20121928
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