The Language of War

Tobia, Kevin P.
January 2016
Monist;Jan2016, Vol. 99 Issue 1, p40
Academic Journal
Walzer begins his seminal Just and Unjust Wars with a linguistic claim: ordinary language provides evidence about the nature of war. This paper explores the relation between ordinary language use and just war theory. I begin by attacking Walzer's central thesis about the language of war, the claim that ordinary language distinguishes between adjectival and adverbial claims about jus ad bellum and jus in bello, respectively. I then propose and defend a different distinction in ordinary language that better corresponds to this distinction in war. I argue this analysis of language use provides insight into the nature of war and conclude by defending a requirement of declaration of war.


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