The introduction to this volume gives a brief overview of the recent history of torture, and how the American “War on Terror” changed the U.S. from being a key critic of torture to one of its users and defenders, putting it at odds with international law and much global opinion. It then surveys some of the complex issues that arise in thinking holistically about the nature of torture, its ethical aspects, its place in war, and its cultural significance. It then previews the fourteen chapters of the volume, noting many of the connections that appear when thinkers from different disciplines address the subject in its broader context.
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