Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Westra, Laura,





Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The classical just war doctrine has had a significant influence upon the way in which we think about war and morality. First set forth by St. Augustine, it was more fully developed and arranged in a systematic manner by St. Thomas Aquinas. Philosophers and theologians who followed in this tradition, such as Vitoria and Suarez further developed the implications of the doctrine and applied its principles to concrete situations. I discuss in this essay the principles and criteria which constitute the classical just war doctrine as developed by these thinkers, and argue that it is a way of thinking about war which is highly relevant today. I consider objections against elements within the just war doctrine and also against the relevance or applicability of the doctrine to modern warfare and weapons. I also consider particular issues raised by the modern phenomenon of revolutionary guerrilla warfare and civil war in light of the classical just war doctrine. A case study of the Spanish civil war serves to illustrate the applications of the principles and criteria of the just war to a modern conflict, and indicates the value of such an evaluative theoretical tool as the just war doctrine.Dept. of Philosophy. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1998 .W42. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0366. Adviser: Laura Westra. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1998.