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This collection of essays, inspired by the author’s experience teaching ethics to Marine and Navy chaplains during the Iraq War, examines the moral and psychological dilemmas posed by war. The first section deals directly with Dr. Peter A. French’s teaching experience and the specific challenges posed by teaching applied and theoretical ethics to men and women wrestling with the immediate and personal moral conflicts occasioned by the dissonance of their duties as military officers with their religious convictions. The following chapters grew out of philosophical discussions with these chaplains regarding specific ethical issues surrounding the Iraq War, including the nature of moral evil, forgiveness, mercy, retributive punishment, honor, torture, responsibility, and just war theory. This book represents a unique viewpoint on the philosophical problems of war, illuminating the devastating toll combat experiences take on both an individual’s sense of identity and a society’s professed moral code.Read more
- An internationally known philosopher's memoir of teaching ethics to Navy and Marine chaplains during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars
- Includes a new analysis of why interrogational torture is immoral and an analysis of traditional and revised just war theory in the cyber age
- Presents a defense of using a metaverse such as Second Life to provide a meaningful existence for casualties of war
Reviews & endorsements
"....Military readers may find War and Moral Dissonance worth buying just for its powerful opening essay....has fine passages that deserve to be read and digested...."
--Major Douglas A. Pryer, USA, Wales, UK, Military ReviewSee more reviews
"French (Arizona State) makes a unique and insightful contribution to the literature arising out of the war on terror....The opening chapter is worth the price of the book alone.... This volume is suitable for a wide range of readers, including military chaplains.... Recommended...."
--S.D. Lake, Trinity Christian College, CHOICE
"...this book should be studied in preparation for command. It provides a wonderful insight into the fragility of the human condition both in terms of witnessing the horrors of modern warfare and how even disciplined Western militaries contain individuals who will revert to the basest of human behaviour.... For the naval reader who lacks combat experience ashore, this book provides an alternative viewpoint on how difficult the last decade has been on our army and marine colleagues..."
--Dave Mugridge, Canadian Naval Review
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- Date Published: October 2010
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107000483
- length: 360 pages
- dimensions: 236 x 157 x 24 mm
- weight: 0.6kg
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. The two-collar conflict: a philosopher's memoir of the Iraq War
2. Our better angels have broken wings: human nature and the nature of evil
3. Responsibility for innocence lost
4. Virtuous responses to moral evil
5. Assessing attempts at moral originality
6. Public and private honor, shame, and the appraising audience
8. Community and worthwhile living in Second Life
9. Of merels and morals: musts and oughts
10. Inference gaps in moral assessment: individuals, organizations, and institutions
11. Blaming whole populations: the American people and the Iraq War
12. The moral challenge of collective memories
13. Corporate responsibility and punishment redux
14. Mission creep.
Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses
- War & Peace: Catholic Perspectives
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