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Torture and the Ticking Bomb. Edition No. 1. Blackwell Public Philosophy Series

  • ID: 5227155
  • Book
  • August 2007
  • 136 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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This timely and passionate book is the first to address itself to Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz’s controversial arguments for the limited use of interrogational torture and its legalisation.
  • Argues that the respectability Dershowitz's arguments confer on the view that torture is a legitimate weapon in the war on terror needs urgently to be countered
  • Takes on the advocates of torture on their own utilitarian grounds
  • Timely and passionately written, in an accessible, jargon-free style
  • Forms part of the provocative and timely Blackwell Public Philosophy series
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Preface ix

1 Introduction 1

What is Torture? 3

Dershowitz on Interrogational Torture 6

Why Write about Torture? 8

The Agenda 11

2 The Fantasy of the Ticking Bomb Scenario 14

Dershowitz’s Argument and the Ticking Bomb 14

Who Tortures? 21

Effectiveness and Time 24

Knowledge and Necessity 31

The Ticking Bomb Scenario: Conclusion 38

3 The Consequences of Normalizing Interrogational Torture 40

Some Clarifications 41

Three Positive Claims about the Consequences of Legalizing Interrogational Torture 52

The Institutionalization of Interrogational Torture 57

A Torturous Society 72

4 Torture, Death and Philosophy 75

Torture 76

Torture, Death and Interrogation 79

Why No Decent Society Can Torture 84

Torture, the “War on Terror” and Intellectual Irresponsibility 85

But What if Torture Really is the Only Possible Way to Avoid Catastrophe? 86

Two Final Points 88

Notes 89

Bibliography 109

Index 117

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Bob Brecher University of Brighton, UK.
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