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Lecture 9

LEC9 - Preemption and Prevention Oct 9 2009

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Tom Hurka

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PHL 378 F2009 WEEK FIVE CLASS TWO talk about essay-writing at the end of class discussing extension to legalist paradigmUN conception of just cause that expands conception of defence against aggression to allow some first use of force; talked last time about pre-emption, as in Six Day War, when force is initiated to block an imminent attack by another state; Walzer allows this, and so do many theorists; more controversial subject is preventive war, as in War of Spanish Succession, where force is initiated to counter a threat that is not imminent but more speculative and further in the future Walzer, who allows pre-emptive war, forbids preventive war; his reason is that there is no manifest intention to aggress, let alone positive action on that intention; why is that important?, and one explanation of the importance of that is given in the McMahan article: it is permissible to use force against a state only when it is made itself morally liable to attack by doing something wrong; actually attacking is a clear wrong that brings with it liability, but so is intending to attack and starting a process of action aimed at attack; parallel with laws against conspiracy; student question Tuesday about existing contingency plans, like Germanys Schlieffen Plan; I dont think those are enough: you have to have further action specifically on the intention to attack but, McMahan initially argues, there seems to be no liability in the case of merely preventive war; consider case of Spanish Succession; there was then no spec
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