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Social Theory and Practice


published on March 17, 2018

Joseph O. Chapa

The Martial Virtues
A Role Morality for Soldiers?

In this article, I ask whether the martial virtues can serve as a role morality for soldiers. In it I compare three role morality theories and ask, according to each, whether the role of ‘soldier’ is the kind of role that generates a role morality. I conclude that the cultivation of the martial virtues may be a necessary condition for martial morality, but it is not a sufficient one. Finally, I present a positive account of a role morality for soldiers that creates the space for crucial, if not traditionally martial, virtues such as respect for human life and human dignity.

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