Fear, loathing, and moral qualms on the battlefield

Thesis Eleven 154 (1):11-27 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Randall Collins is unparalleled as a sociologist of violence. Yet I here take issue with his view, often expressed by scholars, that moral qualms have prevented many modern soldiers or airmen from shooting or killing. Evidence from soldiers and airmen in modern wars shows that they may hesitate momentarily before their first killing, but then killing eases. The tragedy is that qualms only seem to strike soldiers after their war has ended, contributing substantially to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Soldiers can kill easily if ordered to by effective coercive authority, especially if the enemy is shooting at them. This grim conclusion is at least balanced by the rarity of ‘real killers’ – soldiers who enjoy and are excited by killing.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,480

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Risky Killing and the Ethics of War.Seth Lazar - 2015 - Ethics 126 (1):91-117.
Benbaji on Killing in War and 'the War Convention'.Uwe Steinhoff - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):616-623.
Naked Soldiers and the Principle of Discrimination.Stephen Deakin - 2014 - Journal of Military Ethics 13 (4):320-330.
Innocence in War.Gabriel Palmer-Fernández - 2000 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 14 (2):161-174.
Just and Unjust Killing.Nolen Gertz - 2008 - Journal of Military Ethics 7 (4):247-261.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-09-18

Downloads
6 (#1,096,139)

6 months
1 (#417,474)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Violence: A Micro-Sociological Theory.Randall Collins - 2009 - Greenwood Publishing Group.

Add more references