Ideas of Michael Walzer, by Theme

[American, b.1935, At Harvard, and then the Institute of Advance Studies at Princeton.]

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20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 4. Responsibility for Actions
Criminal responsibility can be fully assigned to each member of a group
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 5. Action Dilemmas / b. Double Effect
Double Effect needs a double intention - to achieve the good, and minimise the evil
22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / d. Ethical theory
Deep ethical theory is very controversial, but we have to live with higher ethical practice
24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 4. Original Position / b. Veil of ignorance
You can't distribute goods from behind a veil, because their social meaning is unclear [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 2. Political equality
Complex equality restricts equalities from spilling over, like money influencing politics and law [Tuckness/Wolf]
25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 4. Economic equality
Equality is complex, with different spheres of equality where different principles apply [Swift]
25. Social Practice / C. Rights / 1. Basis of Rights
If whole states possess rights, there can be social relations between states
25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 1. War / a. Just wars
States can rightly pre-empt real and serious threats
Just wars are self-defence, or a rightful intercession in another's troubles
The aim of reprisals is to enforce the rules of war
Reprisal is defensible, as an alternative to war
With nuclear weapons we have a permanent supreme emergency (which is unstable)
States need not endure attacks passively, and successful reprisals are legitimate
Even non-violent intrusive acts between states count as aggression, if they justify resistance
The only good reason for fighting is in defence of rights
Nuclear bombs are not for normal war; they undermine the 'just war', with a new morality
25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 1. War / b. Justice in war
For moral reasons, a just war must be a limited war
Napoleon said 'I don't care about the deaths of a million men'
Jus ad bellum and Jus in bello are independent; unjust wars can be fought in a just way
25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 1. War / c. Combatants
The duties and moral status of loyal and obedient soldiers is the same in defence and aggression
We can't blame soldiers for anything they do which clearly promotes victory
Rejecting Combatant Equality allows just soldiers to be harsher, even to the extreme
Even aggressor soldiers are not criminals, so they have equal rights with their opponents
Kidnapped sailors and volunteers have different obligations to the passengers
25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 1. War / d. Non-combatants
Soldiers will only protect civilians if they feel safe from them
What matters in war is unacceptable targets, not unacceptable weapons
If the oppressor is cruel, nonviolence is either surrender, or a mere gesture
25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 1. War / e. Peace
We can only lead war towards peace if we firmly enforce the rules of war