A State Between: A Caring-Virtuosic Argument Considering Decision-Making Before Wartime




Kirby, Ryan Patrick

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This dissertation attempts to illumine concepts used to deescalate warring measures designed to protect a nation-State, offered by traditional justice ethics, by synthesizing those ethics with the ethics of care. Because ancient, justice-based ethics were derived while moralizing the virtuosic roles that imply interdependency, and, more relatively, protection, it is imperative that we examine what war-measure contributions seem to be overshadowed in ethical decision-making affecting the community-at-large through virtue and care. In suggesting ideas for warring measures to be contemplated based on evaluating the protective human state of nature within the community-at-large, I expand on the intermediary caring state of nature existing between the extremes of Lockean-Hobbesian social contract theses. Considering views that are compatible with foremost just-war theories, I argue that our original state of nature is not absolutely cruel and not absolutely utopic, but originally engrossed in a sort of compulsive protection of community members, exhibiting traits of both care and virtue under differently-carried habits of protection. In regard to arguing a contest to a caring ontology, ideas of the caring-relational being is used to measure the question of how we ought to go about warring while simultaneously active in a society implementing a protective state of nature. The position of war being ethically unjust or ethically just ought to be evaluated by both the ethics of care and virtue ethics, producing a decision from the dialectical synthesis of compassionate conflict developing an ethical decision from both virtue and care ethics. Conclusively, this dissertation aims to present how protection-as-ontology is best understood by synthesizing virtue and care ethics, as both theses are normative and require analysis of observable character and cognitive-behavioral traits.



philosophy, ethics, critical thinking, relational ontology, normative ethics, virtue ethics, The Ethics of Care, justice, Honors College


Kirby, R. P. (2018). A state between: A caring-virtuosic argument considering decision-making before wartime (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


Rights Holder

Rights License

Rights URI