Causes, Excuses, and Blame
In this book, Matthew Talbert and Jessica Wolfendale take up these moral questions and propose an original theory of the causes of war crimes and the responsibility of war crimes perpetrators. Les mer
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In this book, Matthew Talbert and Jessica Wolfendale take up these moral questions and propose an original theory of the causes of war crimes and the responsibility of war crimes perpetrators. In the first half of the book, they challenge accounts that explain war crimes by reference to the situational pressures endured by military personnel, including peer pressure, combat stress, and propaganda. The authors propose an alternative theory that explains how military personnel make sense of their
participation in war crimes through their self-conceptions, goals, and values. In the second half of the book, the authors consider and reject theories of responsibility that excuse perpetrators on the grounds that situational pressures often encourage them to believe that their behavior is
permissible. Such theories of responsibility are unacceptably exculpatory, implying it is unreasonable for victims of war crimes to blame their attackers. By contrast, Talbert and Wolfendale argue that perpetrators of war crimes may be blameworthy if their actions express objectionable attitudes towards their victims, even if they sincerely believe that what they are doing is right.