Torture has recently been the subject of some sensational headlines. As a result, there has been a huge surge in interest in the ethical implications of this contentious issue.
The Ethics of Torture offers the first complete introduction to the philosophical debates surrounding torture. The book asks key questions in light of recent events such as the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib. What makes torture morally reprehensible? Are there any conditions under which torture is acceptable? What is it like to be tortured, and why do people engage in torture?
The authors argue that the force of the most common arguments for torture (like the ticking-bomb argument) are significantly overestimated, while the wrongness of torture has been significantly underestimatedeven by those who argue against it.
This is the ideal introduction to the ethics of torture for students of moral philosophy or political theory. It also constitutes a significant contribution to the torture debate in its own right, presenting a unique approach to investigating this dark practice.
1. Coming to (Definitional) Terms with Torture: Four Models
2. The Economic Model of Torture: Ticking Bomb Arguments and Torture Warrants
3. The Phenomenological Model of Torture: Dignity and the Destruction of Agency
4. The Dramaturgical Model: The Immorality Play of Interrogation
5. The Communicative Model of Torture: Understanding Institutionally-Permissive Torture
6. Assessing the Varieties of Torture: Concluding Reflections on a Recurrent Problem
J. Jeremy Wisnewski is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Hartwick College, USA and Editor of Review Journal of Political Philosophy. His publications include Wittgenstein and Ethical Inquiry (Continuum, 2007), The Politics of Agency (Ashgate, 2008), Family Guy and Philosophy (Blackwell, 2007) and The Office and Philosophy (Blackwell, 2008).
R.D. Emerick is Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences, Palomar College, San Marcos, USA.
The Ethics Of Torture by J. Jeremy Wisnewski; R.D. Emerick was published by Continuum in May 2009. The ISBN for The Ethics Of Torture is 9780826498908.