Targeting Human Shields

Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):328-348 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this paper, we are concerned with the morality of killing human shields. Many moral philosophers seem to believe that knowingly killing human shields necessarily involves intentionally targeting human shields. If we assume that the distinction between intention and foresight is morally significant, then this view would entail that it is generally harder to justify a military operation in which human shields are knowingly killed than a military operation in which the same number of casualties result as a merely foreseen side effect. We argue, however, that only some cases of knowingly killing human shields should be regarded as intentionally targeting human shields, and thus only those cases face higher bars of justification. We shall formulate different principles that help us to distinguish between cases where a military operation involves the deliberate harming of human shields and cases where it does not. As we shall see, these principles are relevant in scenarios that are all too realistic and common, such as the bombing of legitimate military targets located amid civilian populations.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,038

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

Deconstructing the doctrine of double effect.Richard Hull - 2000 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 3 (2):195-207.
Aristotle.Christopher John Shields - 2007 - New York: Routledge.
Killing and Allowing to Die.Daniel Patrick Sulmasy - 1995 - Dissertation, Georgetown University
Human shields.Banu Bargu - 2013 - Contemporary Political Theory 12 (4):277-295.
A Defense of St. Thomas and the Principle of Double Effect.Daniel F. Montaldi - 1986 - Journal of Religious Ethics 14 (2):296 - 332.
Killing Innocents and the Doctrine of Double Effect.John Zeis - 2004 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 78:133-144.
What Is So Wrong with Killing People?Robert Young - 1979 - Philosophy 54 (210):515-528.
Logic and sin in the writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein.Philip R. Shields - 1993 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Killing Innocents and the Doctrine of Double Effect.John Zeis - 2004 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 78:133-144.
II—Christopher Shields: The Peculiar Motion of Aristotelian Souls.Christopher Shields - 2007 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):139-161.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-10-23

Downloads
97 (#178,429)

6 months
20 (#130,481)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Amir Saemi
University of California, Santa Barbara (PhD)
Philip Atkins
Temple University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Just And Unjust Wars.Michael Walzer - 1977 - New York: Basic Books.
The Ethics of Killing.Jeff Mcmahan - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (2):477-490.
War and massacre.Thomas Nagel - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (2):123-144.

View all 14 references / Add more references