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Nuclear deterrence, morality, and realism

Author: John Finnis; Joseph M Boyle; Germain Gabriel Grisez
Publisher: Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1987.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
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Nuclear deterrence requires objective ethical analysis. In providing it, the authors face realities - the Soviet threat, and a possible nuclear holocaust - concluding that the deterrent is  Read more...

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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Finnis, John.
Nuclear deterrence, morality, and realism.
Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1987
(OCoLC)755253679
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John Finnis; Joseph M Boyle; Germain Gabriel Grisez
ISBN: 0198247923 9780198247920 0198247915 9780198247913
OCLC Number: 14518451
Description: xv, 429 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: I. What threats are made : What is deterrence? ; France's threat ; Britain's threat ; The complex US threat ; The inflexible underpinning of flexible response ; 'We do not target population as such' ; A 'particularly helpful' letter ; A short lexicon of deterrent threats ; Appendix: British bombing policies, 1939-45 --
II. What backs up the threats : The weapons ; Control ; Plans ; Readiness --
III. The duty to deter : Introduction ; The goals of the deterrent ; The duty to defend Western political society ; The Soviets unopposed ; The deterrent: necessity and permissibility --
IV. Judging the deterrent by common morality : Common morality and intent to kill innocents? ; The significance of intent ; Conditional intentions ; Who are innocents? ; Deterrence and intentional killing of innocents ; How deterrent purposes define intent ; A different judgement on the deterrent? --
V. Must the threat involve the intention? : 'We may change our minds on the day' ; 'Mere possession' ; 'Keeping the option open' ; The deterrent a bluff? ; Who could be bluffing? ; The deterrent as a social act ; Presumptions and implausibilities --
VI. Must the deterrent threaten innocents? : A threat limited to combatants ; Do Western deterrents avoid threatening innocents? ; An 'interim' threat to innocents? ; Capabilities needed for pure counterforce ; 'First strike' capability ; Strategic defence ; A pure counterforce threat of victory denial? ; Concluding reflections on deterrent intention --
VII. Deterrence as the 'Lesser Evil' ; Justifying deterrence by its consequences ; Consequentialism and wrongful intentions ; Non-combatant immunity not absolute? ; A consequentialist objection and reply ; Crypto-consequentialist justifications --
VIII. The prospect of the Holocaust: the consequentialist case against the deterrent : Condemning deterrence for tis risks ; The risk of nuclear war ; Nuclear holocaust ; The disaster-avoidance principle rejected ; A principle of expected utility? ; 'Make the worse significantly less probable ... ' ; Gambling with unknown odds of catastrophe --
IX. The futility of consequentialist arguments : Consequentialism and common morality ; Consequentialism and deterrence revisited ; The arguments of VII and VIII reviewed ; Feelings of commensurability explained ; Why consequentialist arguments must fail ; A conclusive argument against consequentialism ; Why common speech sounds consequentialist --
X.A sounder theory of morality : Beyond 'telelogy' and 'deontology' ; The idea of basic human good ; Which are the basic human goods? ; The first moral principle ; Specifications of the first moral principle ; Human action ; Deriving specific moral norms --
XI. Why innocents may not be intentionally killed : Completing the moral evaluation of the deterrent ; An unjustifiable means to a good end ; The deterrent's threat against some basic good(s) ; Human life: a basic good of human persons ; Justifiable deadly deeds: the relevance of innocence --
XII. Disarmament : Is mutual disarmament a realistic prospect? ; Morality's demands do not wait ; The only possible choice not absolutely excluded ; How much must be renounced? ; How quickly? --
XIII. While deterrence continues: individual responsibilities : Different beliefs, different obligations ; Responsibilities of those who judge deterrence wrong ; Members of Congress or Parliament ; Submarine commanders ; Key-turners ; Citizens at large ; CIvil disobedience ; Responsibilities of those who accept the deterrent ; An important common responsibility --
XIV. Concluding Christian thoughts : Why write this book? ; Realisms? ; A profession of faith ; Faith and morals ; Providence, the West, and the Kingdom ; Look, judge, choose.
Responsibility: John Finnis, Joseph M. Boyle, Jr., Germain Grisez.
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'This is a long and carefully argued book, which also includes an interesting account of moral theory, a survey of the moral and strategic literature on nuclear deterrence, and a discussion of the Read more...

 
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