Announcements, Rights Theory

Grotius and Me

My essay Hugo Grotius on War and the State has been posted on Liberty Matters, the online scholarly site of the Liberty Fund.  I claim, among other things, that while Grotius’ jurisprudential method was confused, his recommendations on the laws of war were ahead of their time.  As a political theorist he does not measure up to the giants of the Enlightenment, but has the merit of having been the first on a number of points.

Comments from Hans Blom and Eric Mack will follow, with my reply.

Published on:
Author: Fernando Teson
  • Irfan Khawaja

    I don’t understand the upshot of Teson’s essay on Grotius. Even on Teson’s very charitable construal, Grotius turns out to be methodologically and substantively confused–so confused that he ends up with a position that sounds a bit like the “contingent pacifism” that philosophers like Larry May have attributed to him (or drawn out of him).

    Teson: “[Grotius] intends to “take away from those who make War almost all the Rights which I seem to have granted them; but which in Reality I have not” (III.X.I, 1411).” That’s pretty convoluted. How does a view like that help us conceptualize contemporary issues in the ethics of warfare?

    I’ve argued that it doesn’t: