Drones and the Martial Virtue Courage

TitleDrones and the Martial Virtue Courage
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsKirkpatrick, J
JournalJournal of Military Ethics
Date Published2015
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number15027570
KeywordsCOURAGE , drone , Drones , Harm , just , MILITARY , Moral , SOCIAL , VIRTUE
AbstractThis article explores the relationship between the operation of combat drones and the martial virtue courage. The article proceeds in three parts. Part one develops a brief account of virtue generally, and the martial virtue courage in particular. Part two discusses why critics suggest that drone operation does not fit the orthodox conceptualization of courage and, in some instances, even erodes the virtue. Part three explores how these criticisms are flawed. This section of the paper goes on to argue that the criticisms are predicated on a twofold misunderstanding. The first involves improperly truncated conceptualizations of courage, which are, in part, predicated upon a narrow definition of risk. From this narrow definition of risk springs the conclusion that drone operation must be riskless. The second misunderstanding follows from the first and involves the failure to grasp properly how courage can be cultivated and required in drone operation. The paper concludes with a discussion of how, properly understood, courage may be required by and developed in successful drone operators. 
NotesKirkpatrick, Jesse 1; Affiliation: 1: Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA; Source Info: Oct-Dec2015, Vol. 14 Issue 3/4, p202; Subject Term: DRONE aircraft; Subject Term: MILITARY ethics; Subject Term: COURAGE; Subject Term: VIRTUE; Subject Term: HARM (Ethics); Subject Term: SOCIAL aspects; Author-Supplied Keyword: courage; Author-Supplied Keyword: Drones; Author-Supplied Keyword: just war theory; Author-Supplied Keyword: moral injury; Author-Supplied Keyword: virtue; Number of Pages: 18p; Document Type: Article