What is war, and how should it be waged? Are there restraints on its conduct? What can philosophers contribute to the study of warfare? It might appear to some that the practical activity of the battlefield is a universe removed from the sedate reflections of the philosopher, but in this lively and readable book Ian Clark argues that there is an important relationship between the concept of war and notions about its proper conduct, and that the practice of war requires a sound philosophical understanding of its nature. Dr Clark begins by discussing two traditional doctrines: the just war and the limited war. The first specifies the legitimate ends and means of warfare, viewed in essentialy moral terms. The second adopts a more explicitly political view, asserting a need for the means to be proportionate to the objectives of war. Fresh insight is offered into the contrasts and comparisons between these two traditions. An exploration follows of the applicability of such ideas to issues in contemporary warfare - war crimes, choice of targets, restrictions on weapons guerrilla warfare, and the particular problems associated with nuclear strategy and deterrence.
What emerges is a fascinating synthesis of philosophy, history of warfare, political theory, and contemporary strategy, in which Dr Clark describes how the ideas which are central to the nature of war have developed in the context of changing social, political, and technological environments, and proposes a meeting ground for the integration of the philosophy and practice of war.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Weight: 324 g
Dimensions: 219 x 146 x 14 mm