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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 19, Issue 2, Fall 2005

Stephen Kershnar
Pages 223-241
DOI: 10.5840/ijap200519212

For Interrogational Torture

Interrogational torture is torture that is done in order to gain information. It is wrong if it either wrongs the person being interrogated or is a free-floating wrong. In the relevant cases, interrogational torture need not wrong the person being interrogated. This is because in many cases it doesn’t, and is known not to, infringe on the tortured person’s moral rights. It is not clear whether interrogational torture is a free-floating wrong since we lack confidence in judging whether it violates a consequentialist duty. Even if interrogational torture is morally permissible, it doesn’t follow that it is the best policy for a country to adopt.

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