Confessions of a Torturer

Just pulled this off Metafilter. A St. John’s grad turned interrogator speaks about what he did to innocents in Iraq: Confessions of a Torturer. There goes Martha Nussbaum’s thesis that the study of the liberal arts will cultivate an ethical sensibility, right out the window. That said, Mr. Lagouranis has a lot more to tell… Continue reading Confessions of a Torturer

Law and War

In the wake of Kendall-Smith’s conviction, it seems as if the question of legality will again go underground. We can reasonably ask, as Antoinette does, “Why should we worry about legality when there’s a political solution available?” Protest politics need not trouble itself with the weak fictions of international law, we might argue, since the… Continue reading Law and War

Kendall-Smith and Kant: Can the Critique of Practical Reason make you ethical?

Ever since Adolf Eichmann pretended that Kant’s theory of ethics could be used to defend his actions, I’ve wondered whether moral philosophers really have any tendency to be better people, or to live better lives. As Arendt put it in Eichmann in Jerusalem, “He did his duty… he not only obeyed orders, he also obeyed… Continue reading Kendall-Smith and Kant: Can the Critique of Practical Reason make you ethical?