Title page for ETD etd-05232006-155309


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Mueller, Nathan
URN etd-05232006-155309
Title Michael Walzer on the Moral Legitimacy of States and the Morality of Killing in War
Degree Master of Arts
Department Philosophy
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
FitzPatrick, William J. Committee Chair
Daskal, Steven J. Committee Member
May, Simon Committee Member
Keywords
  • combatant
  • ethics
  • intervention
  • military
Date of Defense 2006-05-10
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This thesis is divided into two chapters. In the first chapter, I analyze Michael Walzer’s account of the moral legitimacy of states. In the second chapter, I analyze his account of the morality of killing in war. I begin the first chapter by contrasting Walzer’s account of state legitimacy and humanitarian intervention with that of David Luban. Next, I develop a Rawlsian account of state legitimacy and humanitarian intervention and argue that this account is more plausible than both Walzer’s and Luban’s accounts.

The second chapter is divided into two parts. In the first part, I argue that Walzer’s account of the distinction between combatants and noncombatants is misleading because it gives the impression that all and only infantry soldiers are combatants and that all and only civilians are noncombatants. In the second part of the second chapter, I describe an account of the morality of killing in war developed by Jeff McMahan that is based on an analogy with the morality of killing in domestic society and argue that this account is more plausible than Walzer’s account of the morality of killing in war. I also suggest a way that McMahan’s account could be improved.

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