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Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and TortureA Philosophical Analysis$
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Fritz Allhoff

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226014838

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226014821.001.0001

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Conceptual and Moral Foundations of Torture

Conceptual and Moral Foundations of Torture

(p.57) 4 Conceptual and Moral Foundations of Torture
Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture

Fritz Allhoff

University of Chicago Press

The aim of this chapter is to introduce the conceptual and moral foundations of torture. It begins by considering what torture is and the different kinds of torture before setting the ongoing focus on interrogational torture. Finally, it discusses why torture comprises moral harms. Given that the author will, ultimately, go on to defend the morality of torture in exceptional cases, he emphasizes that he recognizes the moral harms of torture. The ensuing argument that torture could be justified despite those moral harms does not deny that such harms exist. This chapter also considers the intrinsic harms of torture, that is, how torture harms its victims. To be clear, this does not deny that there are other, extrinsic harms perpetuated by torture — many of these will be the focus of subsequent discussions in this book.

Keywords:   moral foundations, interrogational torture, moral harms, intrinsic harms, extrinsic harms

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