Despite Victor Hugo's 19th-century proclamation that torture no longer exists, we still find it even now, even in those nations that claim to be paradigms of civility. Why is it that torture still exists in a world where it is routinely regarded as immoral? Is it possible to eliminate torture, and if so, how? What exactly does it mean to call something 'torture', and is it always morally reprehensible? Arguments in favour of torture abound, but in this important new book, J. Jeremy Wisnewski examines and explains the moral dimensions of this perennial practice, paying careful attention to what lessons torture can teach us about our own moral psychology. By systematically exposing the weaknesses of the dominant arguments for torture, drawing on resources in both analytic and continental philosophy and relevant empirical literature in psychology, Wisnewski aims to provide an over-arching account of torture: what it is, why it's wrong, and why even the most civilized people can nevertheless engage in it.
Edinburgh University Press