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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 16, Issue 2, Fall 2002

Daniel A. Dombrowski
Pages 185-200

Rawls and War

The purpose of the present article is to explicate John Rawls’s views on war as they are scattered across several of his writings. Three claims are made: (1) Rawls is generally a just war theorist who usually argues against the “realist” view of war; (2) Under the influence of Michael Walzer, however, Rawls ends up making an illadvised concession to the realist view concerning conditions of “supreme emergency”; and (3), despite Rawls’s blend of just war theory/realism, the logic of his theory of justice and his political liberalism should push him in the opposite direction toward a blend of just war theory/pacifism.

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