This Independent Study is made up of three chapters. The paper starts with an analysis of Augustine and his natural law based just war theory. From there it goes on to discuss combat drones and how modern warfare conflicts with traditional just war theory, as well as brining about issues in political philosophy in terms of sovereignty.

This transitions into how we ought to look at sovereignty and other concepts associated with the problems mentioned in the first chapter. In trying to understand just war theory in today’s context, understanding how various definitions of sovereignty, war, and combatant becomes much more critical. I conclude that there has been a variance between the real definition and the stipulated definition in the laws in some cases, and this leads to problems.

The paper concludes with an examination of just war theory from both the utilitarian and Kantian Deontology forms of ethic. It seeks to answer the question of whether just war theory can hold up outside of natural law by examining two different ethical systems. Starting with Utilitarianism I examine various principles of just war theory and see if they can be derived under a utilitarian system. Following this is an examination of Kant and just war theory heavily relying upon Williams’ prior work in this topic. The chapter finds that while Utilitarianism might be able establish some principles of just war theory, it doesn’t prove to be comprehensive enough to adequately do the work that a just war theory should do. I conclude however that Kant’s categorical imperative however is able to do so.


Hustwit, Ronald




Ethics and Political Philosophy | Philosophy of Language


Just war theory

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 Christopher J. Blaikie