IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/cup/utilit/v23y2011i04p380-401_00.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Utilitarianism and Recourse to War

Author

Listed:
  • SHAW, WILLIAM H.

Abstract

Despite the enormous impact that war and the threat of war have had on human well-being, utilitarians have had surprisingly little to say about when, if ever, we may fight wars. Discussion of this question has been dominated by realism, pacifism and just war theory. This article takes some preliminary steps toward remedying this situation. I begin by spelling out what I call the Utilitarian War Principle (UWP). After presenting some considerations in its favour and answering some possible objections to it, I compare UWP with pacifism and with the principles of jus ad bellum found in the work of contemporary just war theorists. I argue that adherents of UWP should treat those principles as secondary moral principles, which, although subordinate to UWP, can and should guide its application and which, in turn, should be refined and revised with this goal in mind.

Suggested Citation

  • Shaw, William H., 2011. "Utilitarianism and Recourse to War," Utilitas, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(04), pages 380-401, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:utilit:v:23:y:2011:i:04:p:380-401_00
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0953820811000276
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:utilit:v:23:y:2011:i:04:p:380-401_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: http://journals.cambridge.org/jid_UTI .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.