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Torture and Moral Integrity is about the wrongness of torture and the nature of morality. It discusses multiple types of torture with great philosophical acuity and it seeks to explain why interrogational torture and other types of torture are always and everywhere morally wrong.
At the same time, it rigorously plumbs the general structure of morality and the intricacies of moral conflicts and it probes some of the chief grounds for the moral illegitimacy of various modes of conduct. It sophisticatedly defends a deontological conception of morality against some subtle critiques that have been mounted during the past few decades by proponents of consequentialism.
The book tackles a concrete moral problem: a problem that has been heatedly debated during recent years in the governmental and military institutions of many countries as well as in academic circles. At the same time it tackles some very abstract issues in moral and political philosophy. Moreover, as becomes apparent at numerous junctures, the abstract ruminations and the concrete prescriptions are closely connected:
Kramer's recommendations concerning the legal consequences of the perpetration of torture by public officials or private individuals, for example, are based squarely on his more abstract accounts of the nature of torture and the nature of morality. His philosophical reflections on the structure of morality are the vital background for his approach to torture, and his approach to torture is a natural outgrowth of those philosophical reflections.