Fritz Allhoff
Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 2012. Hardback, xii+266 pp.
Publication year: 2012

Fritz Allhoff, Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012). Hardback, xii+266 pp. Excerpt published in International Journal of Intelligence Ethics 3.1 (2012): 3-45. “Editor’s Choice of Books Received”, Journal of Ethics (2012). Review by Robert Heineman in Choice Reviews Online, September, 2012. Review by Timothy Horner in Journal for Peace & Justice Studies 22.2 (2012): 106-108. Review by Stephen Kershnar in International Journal of Intelligence Ethics 3.2 (2012): 121-125. Review by Philip Devine in Ethics 123.2 (2013): 346-349. Review by J. Jeremy Wisnewski in Philosophy Today 57.1 (2013): 114-120. Review by Peter Brian Barry in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2013): 675-696. Review by John Kleinig in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91.2 (2013): 407-409. Review by David E. Decosse (“Personhood, Utilitarianism, and the Limits of Torture”) in Criminal Justice Ethics 32.3 (2013): 258-261. Review essay by Bradley Jay Strawser (“Defensive Interrogational Torture and Epistemic Limitations”) in Public Affairs Quarterly 27.4 (2013): 311-340. Review by J. Jeremy Wisnewski (“In Defense of a Principled Absolutism against Torture: A Reply to Allhoff’s Terrorism, Ticking Time Bombs, and Torture”) in Philosophy Today 57.1 (2013): 114-120. Review by Adam Henschke in Human Rights Quarterly 36.2 (2014): 478-486. Review by Seumas Miller in Journal of Moral Philosophy 12 (2015): 116-120.

From University of Chicago Press:

The general consensus among philosophers is that the use of torture is never justified. In Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture, Fritz Allhoff demonstrates the weakness of the case against torture; while allowing that torture constitutes a moral wrong, he nevertheless argues that, in exceptional cases, it represents the lesser of two evils.
Allhoff does not take this position lightly. He begins by examining the way terrorism challenges traditional norms, discussing the morality of various practices of torture, and critically exploring the infamous ticking time-bomb scenario. After carefully considering these issues from a purely philosophical perspective, he turns to the empirical ramifications of his arguments, addressing criticisms of torture and analyzing the impact its adoption could have on democracy, institutional structures, and foreign policy. The crucial questions of how to justly authorize torture and how to set limits on its use make up the final section of this timely, provocative, and carefully argued book.