''That truth that lives unchangeably'': The role of ontology in the just war tradition

by Gray, Phillip Wesley

Abstract (Summary)
The just war tradition as we know it has its origins with Christian theology. In this dissertation, I examine the theological, in particular ontological, presuppositions of St. Augustine of Hippo in his elucidation of just war. By doing so, I show how certain metaphysical ideas of St. Augustine (especially those on existence, love, and the sovereignty of God) shaped the just war tradition. Following this, I examine the slow evacuation of his metaphysics from the just war tradition. Through the systemization of just war by St. Thomas Aquinas, aided later on by Bartolom�© de Las Casas and Hugo Grotius, the doctrine became a shadowy reflection of the tradition. By analyzing the notions of morality in warfare by political realists (Waltz, Morgenthau), international law, and liberal thinkers (Rawls, Walzer), I show the incoherence of the doctrine when it is separated from its ontological and metaphysical roots.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Nederman, Cary J.; Ellis, Elisabeth; Geva, Nehemia; Goodman, Jennifer R.G.

School:Texas A&M University

School Location:USA - Texas

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:just war ontology


Date of Publication:12/01/2006

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