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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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Empirical Objections to Torture

Empirical Objections to Torture

(p.138) (p.139) 7 Empirical Objections to Torture
Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture

Fritz Allhoff

University of Chicago Press

This chapter marks the transition from abstract and theoretical discussions about torture to empirical and pragmatic considerations thereof. To be sure, the treatment of these latter issues will be more abstract and theoretical than some would like, but it is, nevertheless, important for a book about torture—even one written by a philosopher—to make some serious engagement with the real world. The chapter presents the author’s proposal to consider various stock objections to the actual use of torture. These often tend to be deployed rather uncritically, though they nevertheless warrant discussion. Particularly, something should be said about the efficacy and reliability of torture, the institutional requirements for torture, the nefarious spread of torture, and whether there are better alternatives to torture.

Keywords:   pragmatic considerations, torture, empirical objections, efficacy

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