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Revolution, Cambridge: James Clarke. Goodwin, G (ed.) (1982) Ethics and Nuclear Deterrence, London: Croom Helm. Howard, M.E. (1978) War and the Liberal Conscience, London: Temple Smith. Johnson, J.T. (1984) Can modern war be just?, New Haven: Yale University Press. Midgley, E.B.F. (1975) The Natural Law Tradition and the Theory of International
Relations, London: Elek. Niebuhr, R. (1940) Christianity and Power Politics, New York: Scribner. O'Brien, W.V. (1981) The Conduct of Just and Limited War, New York: Praeger. Tusa, A. and Tusa, J. (1983) The Nuremberg Trial, London: Macmillan.
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Herald. See also chapters 33, 37.
Discussion of 'personal ethics' must begin with demarcation. All ethics are personal ethics: only persons can live morally well or ill. What manageable topic is to be considered here? What is to be left out? 'Personal ethics' as a distinct subject is about people's private lives: not necessarily hidden, nor even beyond the reach of the law; but excluding their public roles, their citizenship, their trades, their professional services to their fellow human beings, their large- or small-scale politics. Such exclusion, to allow concentration elsewhere, is practical; but even so, feminists disapprove. As Susan Dowell put it:
Feminism challenges the whole concept of 'personal morality' as a separate category of ethics. 'The personal is political', we say. Our sexuality is not a separate or neutral part of our existence; it embodies our whole being.
Whether she is saying that no ethics can leave out sexual ethics, or that sexual ethics can leave nothing out, she has a point; but a point which if taken too much to heart would make it practically impossible to discuss anything but feminism.
Of course, in principle, ethics must be a whole without boundaries: taking 'personal ethics' as a distinct subject is like projecting one area of a globe on a flat map. The Equator or the Poles will be distorted: and Alaska will be distant from Siberia. Map-making for particular areas is still a valuable enterprise, offering opportunities of overcoming common distortions rather than fostering them. The petty parochialism of confining 'personal life' to domestic life is a distortion; personal life is more than kitchen sinks. The hasty oversimplification of reducing the 'personal' to the 'erotic' is a grave distortion; personal life is more than sex. One main task for a personal ethic is to set the sexuality of human persons in context.
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