© 2012

Beyond Just War

A Virtue Ethics Approach


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. David K. Chan
    Pages 8-29
  3. David K. Chan
    Pages 30-56
  4. David K. Chan
    Pages 57-66
  5. David K. Chan
    Pages 67-85
  6. David K. Chan
    Pages 86-111
  7. David K. Chan
    Pages 112-130
  8. David K. Chan
    Pages 131-172
  9. David K. Chan
    Pages 173-186
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 187-223

About this book


Unlike most books on the ethics of war, this book rejects the 'just war' tradition, proposing a virtue ethics of war to take its place. Like torture, war cannot be justified. It answers the question: 'If war is a very great evil, would a leader with courage, justice, compassion, and all the other moral virtues ever choose to fight a war?'


ethics Just War morality philosophy Virtue Ethics

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of Wisconsin — Stevens PointUSA

About the authors

DAVID K. CHAN is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, USA, where he has taught since 2001. He earned his doctorate in philosophy at Stanford University. His scholarly research and writing is in moral psychology, virtue ethics, the ethics of war, medical ethics, and ancient Greek philosophy.

Bibliographic information


'David Chan offers a Copernican Revolution in thinking about the ethics of war. He utilizes virtue ethics instead of the traditional deontological and consequentialist approaches to just war theory. Arguing that the just war tradition has been overly permissive, Chan asks us to consider how virtuous leaders would approach war as a tragic choice, which forces the virtuous person to choose the evil of war. With subtlety and historical insight, Chan situates his own 'philosophy of co-existence' somewhere between pacifism and traditional just war theory.' - Andrew Fiala, Department of Philosophy, California State University, USA