Journal of Military Ethics 15 (3):187-204 (2016)

Although most styles of military ethics are hybrids that draw on multiple ethical theories, they are usually based primarily on the model of Aristotelian virtue ethics. Virtue ethics is well-suited for regulating the conduct of soldiers who have to make quick decisions on the battlefield, but its applicability to military personnel is threatened by the growing use of unmanned weapon systems. These weapons disrupt virtue ethics’ institutional and cultural basis by changing what it means to display virtue and transforming the roles soldiers perform and the nature of the military profession itself. I argue that in light of these challenges to virtue ethics, at least as it is traditionally understood within the armed forces, soldiers operating unmanned weapons require a more heavily rule-based approach to military ethics.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/15027570.2016.1257851
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,290
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - In Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37-108.
After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.Samuel Scheffler - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (3):443.
Killer Robots.Robert Sparrow - 2007 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (1):62–77.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

War Without Virtue?Robert Sparrow - 2013 - In Bradley Jay Strawser (ed.), Killing By Remote Control. Oxford University Press. pp. 84-105.
Virtue Ethics in the Military.Peter Olsthoorn - 2014 - In Stan van Hooft (ed.), The Handbook of Virtue Ethics. Routledge. pp. 365-374.
Risks and Robots – Some Ethical Issues.Peter Olsthoorn & Lambèr Royakkers - 2011 - Archive International Society for Military Ethics, 2011.
Ethics for the Weekends: The Case of Reservists.Mark Zelcer - 2012 - Journal of Military Ethics 11 (4):333-352.
Military Ethics Education in Taiwan: A Multi-Channel Approach.Yi-Ming Yu - 2014 - Journal of Military Ethics 13 (4):350-362.
Killing by Remote Control: The Ethics of an Unmanned Military.Jai C. Galliott - 2013 - Journal of Military Ethics 12 (3):278-280.
Virtue Ethics and Environs.James Griffin - 1998 - Social Philosophy and Policy 15 (1):56.
Virtue Ethics and Virtue Epistemology.Roger Crisp - 2010 - Metaphilosophy 41 (1-2):22-40.
Virtue Ethics and Military Ethics.René Moelker & Peter Olsthoorn - 2007 - Journal of Military Ethics 6 (4):257-258.


Added to PP index

Total views
40 ( #285,662 of 2,518,851 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #407,861 of 2,518,851 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes