Contingent Pacifism: Revisiting Just War Theory

2015.12.21 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Larry May, Contingent Pacifism: Revisiting Just War Theory, Cambridge University Press, 2015, 272pp., $99.99 (hbk), ISBN
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2015.12.21 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Larry May, Contingent Pacifism: Revisiting Just War Theory, Cambridge University Press, 2015, 272pp., $99.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781107121867. Reviewed by Jan Narveson, University of Waterloo In this new book, Larry May develops and defends what he claims is a special and new outlook on war: "contingent" pacifism. Pacifists hold that all war is unjustified. Contingent pacifists do not; they agree that it is at least possible for war to be justified. But they also think that very few wars are just and, in particular, that probably no current war or war in the recent past was, nor will any foreseeable future wars be, just. In these latter claims, they seem to disagree with what I shall lamely call "most people." To us it seems obvious that our participation in some wars is justified, presumably a good many more than contingent pacifists think. But this appears, at least, to be a... Read More

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