Box 71, Item 4: Two drafts of Metaphysical fallout from the nuclear predicament

Title

Box 71, Item 4: Two drafts of Metaphysical fallout from the nuclear predicament

Subject

Two typescript drafts, one with handwritten emendations, the other with typed corrections. Paper published, Routley R (1984) 'metaphysical fallout from the nuclear predicament', Philosophy & Social Criticism, 10(3-4):19-34, https://doi.org/10.1177/019145378401000303.

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The University of Queensland's Richard Sylvan Papers UQFL291, Box 71, Item 4

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This item was identified for digitisation at the request of The University of Queensland's 2020 Fryer Library Fellow, Dr. N.A.J. Taylor.

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For all enquiries about this work, please contact the Fryer Library, The University of Queensland Library.

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[33] leaves. 26.34 MB.

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Manuscript

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■k

METAPHYSICAL FALL-OUT FROM THE NUCLEAR PREDICAMENT

A series of nuclear prophets has produced a series of philosophically-oriented
works on nuclear war.^ The series is important for its deeper penetration into the
main nuclear predicament, r’own to metaphysical levels; in this the series contrasts
The most
transient superficialities of much of the political commentary,
circulated and influential text of the series is undoubtedly that of the

with the

widely
slightest of the "prophets", Schell’s The Fate of the Earth,

This skillful piece of

unc annily redeploys some of the apparently deep phenomenological
themes of Anders.
So, conveniently, main assumptions of Schell and Anders can often
To criticise their assumptions is not of course to belittle
be considered together,

media-philosophy

In particular, Schell’s little book, for all its political shortcomings,
their work.
is having a significant and much needed effect in shifting attitudes towards nuclear
It is especially valuable for its vivid and horrifying scenarios of

arrangements.

the

exhibits,

both

the

claim

that

species

....

that we undertake together can make any practical or moral sense

...’

of

aftermath

nuclear

Unfortunately

attack.

it

also

philosophically and factually, severe defects.

’without

is

it

Some of

simply rubbish:

to

take

one example,

consider

... a world-wide program of action for preserving the [human]

nothing else

(p.173, rearranged).

This should certainly be rejected philosophically; for there is

no separate moral issue of such overwhelming importance that all other issues become
morally neutral.
compared

with

Moral

more

issues remain moral issues:

important

elsewhere, e.g. p.130).

moral

issues

(as

they don’t cease to be so when
Schell

effectively

acknowledges

And the claim should be questioned on more factual grounds.

Humans form a highly resilient species, like rats a survivor species, unlikely to be
entirely exterminated under presently-arranged nuclear holocausts.

The example was selected however because it leads into, indeed presupposes, two

of the major defective assumptions in the work of Schell and Anders.
51.

Nuclear war will eliminate life, human life at least, on earth (the extinction

assumption); and
52.
In the absence of humans, very many notions,

not only those of morality and

value, but those of time and space for example, make no sense; or, to put it into a

more

sympathetic

philosophical

form,

these

notions

depend

for

actual human context (the extravagant anthropocentric assumption) .

their

sense

on an

2

S2 which give Anders’

It is applications of

philosophical depth,
paradoxical

and Schell’s work some of its apparent

and certainly induce much philosophical puzzlement through the

propositions

But

generated.

the

frequent

applications

S2

of

depend

essentially on SI.3 For without total extinction there will be humans about, to make

past and future, good and evil, go on making sense!

the

Granted that

assumption SI

is by no means ruled out as a real possibility, as

technological

means appear

available

extinct;^

granted

centres of

prospect

the

of

to make it

large-scale

nuclear

Western civilization with obliteration.

the light of present - admittedly inadequate -

true,

to render Homo sapiens

war

does

threaten

leading

Even so SI appears unlikely in
Even in Canada, which

information.

lies on the polar route of Soviet missiles, human life should be able to continue in
certain northern areas (according to Canadian medical studies).

SI

is extremely flimsy.

It depends,

for example,

Schell’s argument to

on an unjustified extrapolation

from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere, but for the most part it does that very

North American thing, of contracting the world to North America.

all worthwhile civilization, is in USA, or at least,

to be more charitable, in North

America and Europe, which will also be wiped out, i.e.
eliminated

in

the nuclear

holocaust.)

Some of

(All that matters,

its human population will be

the data

upon,

Schell relies

for

example the effect of nuclear explosions on the .ozone layer, was significantly out of
date even when he wrote.

Other effects than ozone destruction, such as variations in

ultraviolent radiation and temperature levels, apparently extrapolate even less well

from North

A factually superior study of nuclear disaster produced

to South.

about the same time as Schell’s, by Preddey and others,
Southern Hemisphere,

such as

New Zealand

and southern

at

indicates that parts of the

latitudes of

Latin America

could escape relatively unscathed from even most massive northern exchanges.

Doomsday prophets

may appear

to have

gained new

purchase

through

recent

belated) scientific forecasts of a nuclear winter following upon nuclear war.

(if
But

although these forecasts certainly add a new, and alarming, ecological dimension to
the very damaging consequences of large-scale nuclear war,
extinction assumption3.

they do not sustain the

On the available evidence, human life will continue, though

no doubt with new complications and simplifications, for example^ in many southern
mid-latitude coastal reqions outside zones of radiation fall-out.
More generally,
life will go on,

though likely seriously and irreversibly impoverished through loss

of valuable nonhuman systems and creatures.

Nuclear prophets usually see the world (though with most of it carried along) as
already set

, in crucial respects, on the route to nuclear catastrophe.

Much of the

/r

3

way taken is seen as both inevitable and irreversible.
insist

the

upon

of

"impossibility

unlearning”

the

Thus both Anders and Schell

means of manufacturing nuclear

It would seem that extinction, which they both foresee, would furnish a good

bombs.

medium for unlearning nuclear technology (something very like this emerges from van

theory

Daniken’s

of an

"high"

earlier

In virtue

technology).

they would

of S2,

however exclude such a possibility as a case of unlearning, contending wrongly that

the notion

no longer made

impossibility-of-unlearning

eventual

use

of

sense.

But

what

message

is

the

-

as

if

technology

the

they

again want

inevitability
having

learnt

to

suggest

have

been advanced.But

technological advances
cases of

they

that have

are not

not been

tenable.

the

development

and

else

was

of

the

the

means

determined, and manufacture and use ceased to be a matter of choice.

views

with

There

all

Certainly such

are many

taken advantage of,

and

examples of

there are even

technological developments that have been manufactured but not marketed or

used. There is not something very special about nuclear apparatus that puts it beyond
the scope of such generalisations.

Both Schell and Anders do claim that there are very special things about nuclear
Even if this were true just
"experiments".
weapons, notably that they do not allow "experiments"
of nuclear weapons - and it is certainly not of smaller weapons - it would not rebut
And in fact
the previous argument against the inevitability of nuclear weapons.
Anders and (even) Schell hedge their claims about testing, and the limits to nuclear
scientific work, 1to large-scale weapons and independent experiments which do not
Again they have
interfere with the■ observers and those outside the "laboratories" .
latched onto major points: in particular, we have at present no way of testing the
cumulative effects of large nuclear weapons in concert, e.g. for more holistic

effects,

such

circulation and

enough with it
in character,

or changes in coupled atmospheric
Short of a large-scale nuclear war, and likely
radiation fields.
these crucial effects must remain largely untested and hypothetical

as

fireballs

or

firestorms,

Nonetheless enough data can be assembled to carry through informative

modellings, which point to the improbability of SI, and so undermine applications of
S2 .

The penetration
Schell

and

Anders,

of

but

in S2, is not something peculiar to
Western philosophy, European philosophy

human

chauvinism, as

is

product

a

of

This chauvinism is unfortunately alive and still well, Anders’ version
It has also deeply
of S2 being just one striking illustration (cf. AA p.252ff.).
penetrated Anglo-American philosophy, and has been extended under the influence of
especially.

Wittgenstein’s work, where even the necessary truths of mathematics are taken to be a
product of human conventions, and would vanish with humans! Such are alleged

MB

4

implications of extinction: but the fact is that the truths of arithmetic are in no
way dependent on the existence of humans or humanoids or of gods or giraffes.

As

very many propositions

with necessary truths and falsehoods so with contingent ones:

about the world do not depend in any way for their truth-value or content on humans

or their communities.
In

Schell,

Kantian

obnoxious

is

chauvinism

human

dished

Thoughts and

form.

up

a

in

particularly

time

propositions,

powerful

history and

tenses,

and

and

memories, values and morality, all depend on the life-giving presence of human beings

-

future or merely potential

past or

humans are certainly not enough.

humans are not enough,

persons

that are not

Thus, according to Schell (p.140, e.g.),

’... the

thought "Humanity is now extinct" is an impossible one for a rational person, because

as

soon as it is, we are not.

In imagining any other event, we look ahead

moment that is still within the stream of human time,
a

later

rational

Though we no doubt have it

into past,

(p.143).
local

may

well

be

able

to

truly.

it

have

Schell

there is no "later" ’outside the human tenses of past,
(p.140)*^.
Human extinction eliminates ’the creature that

erroneously denies that:
present, and future ...’

divides time

creature

The thought is however

... ’.

perfectly possible for humans; we can have it right now.

falsely,

to a

present and

future’: so annihilation cannot

’come to pass’

But it is simply false that the tenses are human; the tenses depend on a

time

ordering

(perceptible

to

many

creatures

other

than

humans,

but

not

depending at all on that perceptibility for its viability) relating other times to
to now (also a human-independent location, evident to other creatures,

the present,

and borne witness to by such sequences as the passing seasons).

And annihilation may

also too easily come to pass, for many humans in the North at least, as it came to

pass in recent geological times that humans began to exist upon earth.

Before that

there was a time before there were any human beings.

argument for the demise of time, that ’what has been will no longer be

Anders’

even what

has

been’ ,

is also explicitly (and narrowly)

’for what

verificationist :

would the difference be between what has only been and what has never been,

is no
remain

one

remember the

to

many

sorts

of

things

difference;

organisms would be different.

that have been’

for

one,

Temporal

the

(AA p.245).
history

themes do not lack

if there

There would

recorded

in

many

still
other

’legitimacy because not

registered [or verified] by anyone’; truth, significance, still less meaning, are not

matters of human verification.

Here,

as

elsewhere,

the

human

chauvinism

is

mixed

with

other

distorting

metaphysical assumptions of our Western heritage, in particular, verificationism and

ontological assumptions (to the effect that there are severe difficulties in talking

about

does

what

exist)

not

Thus,

for

metaphysics from Freud, according to whom

example,

takes

Schell

dubious

over

it is indeed impossible to imagine our own

death; and whenever we attempt to do so, we can perceive that we are in fact still
present

spectators"

as

refuting

the

(p.138).

fact

In

first.

clause goes

second

The

is

there

counterfactual situations which undermine both Freud’s

distance

difficulty

great

no

a good

describing

in

The

claims.

towards

same, goes

for

Schell’s extensions of human chauvinism into one of its main traditional strongholds,
value theory:

evil,

’... the simple and basic fact [sic!]

harm,

or

service

lamenting

rejoicing

or

that before there can be good or

must

there

be

life ,

human

life

These are no facts, but deeply entrenched philosophical dogmas (which have

(p.171).

been exposed and criticised elsewhere/, e.g. HC).

Naturally many

things will disappear with the extinction of humans:

trivially

there will be no more humans (unless humans re-evolve or are recreated), and thus no

more human communities,

human institutions, human activities, human emotions, and so

But it is already going too far to suggest, as Anders does, that there will

forth.

accordingly be

’no thought,

no love,

sacrifice, no image, no song ...'.

For there are, and may continue to exist, other

than humans with emotion,

creatures

no struggle, no pain, no hope, no comfort, no

struggles, songs,

...

Nor will the ending of

.

all such human ventures, if it comes to pass, show that all past human ventures have
been ’all in vain’, meaningless, and already so to say dead.

The decay of the solar

system, or the heat-death of the universe even, will not show that worthwhile human
A
activities were not worthwhile.*

Several of the other notions and themes common to Schell and Anders derive from
their shared

assumptions SI

of a Second Death,

(in Revelations)
under

SI,

is

reckoned

meaningless

rendered

and S2.

a

and

species

death’,

and

all

extinction came

redeployed by both.

’second death’ ,
already

already ’overhung with death’

’a second

It is these that underlie the biblical notion

’seems

(S p.166).

because

to

Thus,

not merely one’s own but

future

to

pass,

generations
the

(S

stronger

be

by

’The death of mankind ,

S2 and

dead’

(AA

SI

p.244,

remaining

S p.166)

life

is

and

is

too, more trivially, a person faces

in addition that greater death of the

p.166,

p.115).

However

even

notion would not be vindicated,

if

nuclear

because

it

depends on the fallacious inference to the meaninglessness of preceding life and on

the very

questionable representation

of

this

meaninglessness as

a sort

of death.

There is no such Second Death: creatures die just once, perhaps all at about the same
time.

The idea of a Second Death lacks even a solid metaphysical base.

6

From SI,

together with the minor principle that extinction being an absolute
in degree,

doesn’t differ

theme that

the universality of peril

comes

’we are all

exposed to peril in the same degree’, which is accordingly ’disguised’ and ’difficult
to

with

SI.

In

situation,

there is no contrast (AE p.64;

because

recognise’,

event,

any

are

peoples

southern Patagonia

Indians of

the

all

not

This theme falls

S p.150).

by

imperilled

equally

the

better placed

being rather

nuclear

than the

Nor are all people equally locked into the situation or

Germans of northern Europe.

incapacitated by it; the prospects are different in different countries and places.

likewise,

Nor,

Schell

are all

contrast

(in

to

people equally responsible,

a pernicious

repeatedly infiltrates.

Anders)

This

is

theme^ which,

the

theme,

Pogo

according to which
S3.

Responsibility for the present nuclear predicament (fiasco, really) distributes

onto everybody, it belongs to every human in the world.

But

there is also, mixed in,

a weaker more

plausible claim that gives lie

to the

stronger one, namely that we have some responsibility (the Nazi situation is
compared).
An especially blatant example of the Pogo theme11 runs as follows: ’...
the

world’s

leaders

political

...

they

though

now menace

the earth with nuclear
At least, this is

weapons, do so only with our permission, and even at our bidding.
true for democracies'

(pp.229-30).

pose

since we pay for extinction and

sense,

threat of it,

the

... we are

(For the populations of the superpowers this is true

the authors of that extinction.
in a positive

theme is elaborated elsewhere:

The

while for

support the governments that

the peoples of the non-nuclear-armed world

it is

true only in the negative sense that they fail try to do anything about the danger)
(p.152).

But

this is more of an argument indicting representative government, by

revealing

its

allegedly

govern,

insensitivity

not

to

and

unresponsiveness

to

affected

by

mention

those

its

the

activities

populace
who

are

they

not

But Schell conveniently neglects all such

represented at all (namely foreigners).
points:

of

many

'... we are potential mass killers.

The moral cost of nuclear armaments is

it makes of all of us underwriters of the slaughter of hundreds of millions'
And again '[as] perpetrators ... we convey the steady message ... that life
(p.152),
that

not only is not sacred but is worthless; that ... it had been judged acceptable for
to be killed' (p.153).
Little of this is true.
Those who campaign against

nuclear arrangements, vote against nuclear—committed parties so far as is possible,
destruction,

and

responsibility for the nuclear situation does not simply distribute onto them.

Nor

and

the

are

like,

does responsibility

attributes
decisions

to

certainly

— or

everyone

taken



not

the

the unlikely

fall

in "liberal

on

authors

opinions as

those

democracies"

who

have

of

potential

to worth
done

less.

Schell illegitimately
Responsibility for

even by representatives

(in the unlikely

event of

this happening in the case of anything as important as defence) cannot be

traced back to those represented, since among many other things, a representative is
only

representative of a

party which offers a complex and often

ill-characterised

package of policies, and a voter may vote for zero or more policies of this package.
Only in

the (uncommon)

can responsibility,

event of a clear

still of a qualified

single issue referendum, which is adopted,

sort, be

for it, not to everyone in the community.

sheeted home, to those who voted

While S3 is false, there is an important

related theme that is much more plausible; namely that the present nuclear situation

generates responsibilities for every socially involved person.
When moreover the Pogo assumption is disentangled from accompanying themes, part

of what results is decidedly along the right lines; namely

S4.

The controllers [not to be confused, in Schell’s fashion, with all of us] have

failed to change our pre-nuclear institutions.

The sovereign system is out of step

with the nuclear age, the one-earth system, etc. (the whole earth theme).
Though Schell remains relatively clear about the serious defects of the state and the
frequently immoral purposes for which the state is used, unfortunately he often loses

sight of

this important

critique of

the

theme (indicated

state whi?V

the conclusion

arrives at

is,

that

by and

pp.187-8).

Yet S4 forms part of Schell s

scattered

large,

the nation-state

and

has outlasted

Schell

fragmentary.

its usefulness,

and

that new political institutions more ’consonant with the global reality’ are required
as a matter of urgency.

But he evades what he admits is the major task, making out

viable alternatives.12 At most he makes some passing gestures, some pointing towards

the Way Up to world political control.

Solutions to

the nuclear dilemma come,

way,

from the Top Down;

(cf.

p.230).

if not easily, in a similar simplistic

those who can must appeal

to the Top,

to those who govern

Schell places his hope in treaties for arms reduction and limitations,

such as SALT, and in world government, through the United Nations (see p.225ff. and

especially p.227,
treaties,

bottom paragraph).

Given the record of

these organisations and

the negotiations and regulators, it is by now a pathetic faith.

Nor is a

serious need felt for further analysis of the nuclear situation, to investigate the

origins of nuclear technology,

to explore the roots of nuclear blindness, to consider

effective changes to military-industrial organisation and ways of life.

But some of the requisite deeper analysis of the nuclear situation and , more
generally, of the roots of war can be found in Anders$f and elsewhere.13 The roots of
the nuclear predicament are not confined to the ideologically-aligned arrangements of

nation-states,

but

penetrate

also

into

key

components

of

those

states,

their

8

and

controlling classes,

their

military,

their supporting bureaucracies.

And both

within the arrangements of states, what accounts in part for the arrangements, and in

key components

of

states,

the

power and domination (and, often,

superiority by the

[nuclear]
science

interrelated forms.
surplus

product

nature)

to

super-states, to
involves

accumulated

can be

is

enables

is the

for

Thus the push for

domination,

large nation-state,

at home

(from

the drive

be achieved through military-oriented

and

main power-base

The

feature

the accompanying privilege).

which

technology,

and

and crucial

a conspicuous

and

from

abroad,

several

in

where enough
and

bled

from

proceed with military and bureaucratic ambitions and to found the high-

technology research and development means to ever more expendable power and energy.

In changing

the prospect of

to eliminate

arrangements

structural

the

nuclear

war, it is not ultimately enough just to downgrade the main power-base, the nation­
state;

it

sweepingly,

also

is

important

remove

to

state

relations,

political

alter

trouble-making

political arrangements,

in

to

key

components

patterns

embedded

namely patterns of domination,

organisation,

human-animal

relations,

but

in

of
in

state,

and,

all

these

social

and

patterns manifested not only
relations,

white-coloured

human-nature

more

the

relations;

to

male-female
in

remove,

short,

However not everything needs to be accomplished at once; and

chauvinistic relations.

the cluster of damaging power and domination relations tied into war can be tackled

separately.

And there

the problems

can largely be narrowed

to certain problems of

states and certain key components of states.

In what analysis he does offer of the
contrast of

familiar false

"raison

d’etat"

and

the

justifies the means is

themselves

to

problem with states,

state expediency with morality,

Socratic-Christian

ethics.

every sort’

(p.134).

anything whatever in the name of [their] survival’.

argument is

as a

contrast between

teaching

that

’the

end

the basis on which governments, in all times, have licensed

commit crimes of

extinction nullifies

The

Schell repeats the

So

’states may do virtually

Schell then argues however, that

end-means justification by destroying every end; but again the

far from sound, and depends on human chauvinism (as under S2) combined

with ontological

assumptions.

Even if all

humans were extinguished (as under SI)

ends could remain, for instance for nonhumans such as animals and extraterrestrials,
actual

or

not.

The

ends-means

argument

can

however

be

repaired

to

remove

such

objections: instead it is claimed that extinction nullifies ends-means justification
by frustrating the realisation of every relevant end - meaning by ’relevant’, in this

context, those ends the realisation of which the state appeals to in justification of

its nuclear policies.a nuclear war, even without human extinction but with severe
enough losses,

would

undoubtedly

frustrate

the realisation of relevant

state ends.

9

So

even

expediency

an

from

perspective,

policies

super-state

are

open

severe

to

criticism, for example as motivationally irrational in the nuclear risks taken.

As to the part of the state and (state) sovereignty in war,

Schell leaves us in

A sovereign state is virtually defined as one that enjoys the right and

no doubt.

to go to war in defence or pursuit of its interests (p.187).

power

War arises from

how things are; from the arrangement of political affairs via jealous nation-states
Indeed there is a two-way linkage between having sovereignty and capacity^

(p.188).

to wage war.

to organise

On the one side, sovereignty is, Schell contends, necessary for people

sovereignty.

is impossible

side, without war it

On the other

for war.

to preserve

Neither of these contentions is transparently clear as it stands.

The

first is damaged by civil war and the like, the second by the persistence of small

nonmilitary states.

the macro-state system is entrenched, it

Now that

easy for conservatives (in particular) to argue from the "realities

life,

which include self-interest,

that

peace

readily

are

arrangements

aggression,

dismissed

as

of international

It is on this basis

hatred.

fear,

is however

unrealistic,

utopian,

even

(amusingly) as extremist (cf. p.185).
Schell’s

further

nuclear "war"

that

theme

is not

war

threatens,

however,

to

undermine his case against the sovereign state; for example, his ends-means argument
and the argument based on its nuclear-war making capacity.

Fortunately the not-war

theme needs much qualification, and starts out from an erroneous characterisation of

war as ’a violent means employed by a nation to achieve an end’ (p.189): but this is

neither necessary nor sufficient for war.

What is correct is that nuclear wars are

very different from previous conventional wars

(cf. WP) .

that war requires an end which nuclear "war" does not have.

to claim

Schell goes on

But nuclear attacks can

certainly have ends (even if large nuclear wars cannot be won in the older sense: but
It is also claimed that war depends on weakness; on

not all wars or games are won).

one side

’no one’s

happen,
But

being defeated

what

these

on a decision by arms.

strength fails

sorts

of

until

considerations

nuclear wars are not wars, but

But in nuclear "war

this doesn’t

both sides have been annihilated’

contribute

to

showing

is

(p.190).

again

that they are not wars of certain sorts,

not

that

e.g., not

just wars (because they fail on such criteria as reasonable prospect of success and

improvement), not rational wars (in a good sense), and so on.
have

persisted

into

nuclear

times

does

damage

to

That conventional wars

Schell's argument

that nuclear

weapons have also ruined "conventional" wars, and his connected theme that the demise

of war

court

has left no means

of

appeal

has

mistaken propositions:

been

to finally settle disputes between nations, for the final
removed

(pp.192-193).

The

theme depends

on a

pair of

that concerning the demise of conventional war, and the idea

10

that war of

some sort has

to

be

the

final

court of appeal

between nations (for

there are other types of contests that could serve, and there is also the possibility

of more cooperative behaviour,

e.g.

joint referenda).

The

social-Darwinian assumption of Clausewicz (the 'logic of war

theme also

imports the

theme) that war has to

proceed to the technological limit — as if war and violence were thoroughly natural

activities, independent of recognised social settings (for winning, surrender, etc.),

and ruleless activities.

On the contrary, wars are parasitic on social organisations

such as states and are governed by a range of understandings, conventions and rules.

They are a social phenomenon, with a rule structure, if not a logic.
Much capital has been made not merely from "the logic of war

but from what is

now called "the logic of deterrence" and the "logic of nuclear [strategic] planning .

The message that is usually supposed to emerge is that the massive arrangements the

world

is

now

entangled

in

are

perfectly

sound,

logical,

rational.

However

Logic in no way justifies the

represents little more than a cheap semantical trick.

present arrangements, or anything like them, or renders them reasonable.
logics of decision (as presented, e.g.,

be applied

planning;

in strategic

but

this

There are

for the classical case in Jeffrey) which can
they do not

yield

specific results without

desirability measures being assigned to alternative outcomes, that is without values

being pumped in, extralogically .

There are various ways these value assignments may

be determined, to meet moral requirements or not; but in nuclear strategic planning
they have invariably been settled on the basis of expediency^?.
For the most part,
however, ’logic of’ tends to be used very loosely, as a word of general commendation,
to

cover

something

like

’reasoning

and rational

considerations entering

into

the

In these terms, Schell, who like others enjoys playing with

policy or strategy of’.

the term ’logic of’, should write of 'the illogic of deterrence', for he emphasizes

its unreasonableness.
supposed

rationality

(even from a national

fail:^ yet

threat of

the

this

further and

For
of

stresses (p.213)

instance he

threatening

use

interest viewpoint)

success

of deterrence

unjustifiable and

of nuclear

the disparity between the

weapons and

the

irrationality

of actually using them should the threat

doctrine depends on the credibility of

irrational use.

the

Indeed Schell wants to go still

locate a contradiction in deterrence (e.g.

but

the argument

depends on an interesting confusion of contradiction with cancellation,

along with

the assumption that deterrence involves cancellation.

irrational, it is immoral, but it is not inconsistent.

pp.201-2);

Nuclear deterrence may well be

11

NOTES
This is a revised version of ’Appendix 1. On the fate of mankind and the earth,
according to Schell, and to Anders’ of my monograph referred to as WP, where
Several points, only touched ijpcn in this review, are further developed.
References are by way of authors’ names or else through obvious acronyms, given
in the list of references which follows.

1. The distinguishing term is from Foley’s Nuclear Prophets, where many
leading anti-nuclear prophets are assessed. One well-known prophet not so
considered there is Jaspers, presumably because his main work comes out in
entirely the wrong direction. It gives heavy philosophical attire to the
better-dead-than-red abomination. A main argument against Jaspers so
presented is simple. However bad being red might become (at present it is
debatably worse than living under some of the totalitarian regimes the
free West props up) , it still gives humans a further chance for goou
lives, since regimes fall or can be toppled: but total annihilation
removes that all-important opportunity.
But of course Jaspers does not present his position so simply. Rather his
contention is that there are circumstances where, and principles for
which, a person or group of persons ought to sacrifice even their lives.
Freedom is such: a life worth living is a free life. But the latter point
can be granted without conceding that sacrifice is a possible means to it.
While the sacrifice of one or a few lives may be a possible (if dubiously
effective) way to free lives for others, certainly the sacrifice of all
lives is not a possible route to free lives for all, since no human lives
remain.
To this extent Schell is right (on p.131) in accusing Jaspers of
an each to all fallacy.
Jasper’s idea that "the free life that they try
to save by all possible means is more than mere life or lives" breaks down
when applied to all participating people.
None can gain free lives by
extinction of all: that is not a possible route to life even.

2. A detailed comparison of Schell and Anders’ remarkably similar versions of
S2 is made in Foley Ju.

3. Should S2 appeal, as it may, to suitable communities of humans, SI will
require reformulation in similar terms; and the argument that follows
needs minor adjustment, with appropriate groups replacing individuals.
4. Thus the Last Person argument, important in environmental ethics (as HC
explains), is no longer merely hypothetical, awaiting for instance the
remote death of the Sun, but assumes new urgency. It is this sort of
argument that connects environmental ethics and nuclear ethics, at a
deeper metaphysical level.
The Bomb and Bulldozer are out of the same
technological Pandora’s box.

Nuclear technology is not the only route to human extinction, nor the only
Pandora's box.
Biological and chemical means are perhaps even more
effective, and certainly can be more selective in what gets extinguished.
Nuclear extinction would presumably require a different and more massive
exchange than is usually assumed in nuclear war scenarios, with heavy

targeting
in
particular
of
Southern
Hemispheric
internationally-recognised nuclear-free zones).

sites

(including

5. Nor do recent scientific studies claim as much.
The most intrepid of
these studies.
Erlich and others, only contends that in certain worstQ '
case circumstances, ’the possibility of the extinction of Homo sapiens
cannot be excluded’ (p.1299).
The study admits that, in the scenario
described,
’it seems unlikely ... Homo spaiens would be forced to
extinctions immediately’, and the difficulties indicated in the way of
long-term human survival are exaggerated.
In particular, many of the drastic effects predicted for Northern mid
latitudes are reflected in very much milder form in equivalent Southern
latitudes.
For example, temperatures for regions with maritine climates
appear likely to vary by only a few degrees and perhaps neglibly for many
agricultural purposes after 100 days (cf. Turco and others, p.1287 case
29, and p.1286).
Similarly the extent of nuclear darkness and of surface
ultraviolet radiation will be appreciably less in the South and perhaps
minor for many crucial purposes, such as photosynthesis and human outdoor
activity, after 100 dayss (cf. the data in Benton and Partridge).

No doubt some scientifically respectable sections of the environmental and
peace movements have an interest in exaggerating the probable effects of
nuclear
holocaust for life on earth, much as many statesmen and
strategists have an interest in minimizing them.
And there is certainly
substantial margin for error and for variation in conclusions drawn.
For
Crutzen (p.59) is right that ’analyses of the environmental effects of a
global nuclear war remain ... uncertain ... because of a lack of
information on various important processes [among other things] ... the
environment might become extremely hostile, because of hitherto overlooked
changes in the composition of the atmosphere’, again among other things.
Such uncertainty bodes considerable caution as rational.
The way to err
is clear.
marxist
persuasion,
determinists
of
merely
by
technological
6. Not
induction
that
if the
argues
by
straight
Hackworth, a former US general,
use
it.
US military has a weapon it will

present and future (etc.) is
7. The appalling theme that humans create past,
repeated elsewhere, e.g. p.173.
8. For detailed refutation of these assumptions, see JB.

9. Anders is here (AA pp.244-5) relying upon a version of the argument from
perserverence, criticised in detail in Routley and Griffin.
10. An interesting converse of this theme is sometimes advanced, that no one
is responsible, the whole thing is out of control.
The technological
version of this no-responsibility theme is discussed below (fn 15). More
satisfactory is the theme that nuclear arrangements are out of political
control, but for reasons, in terms of vested interests in keeping nuclear
things going, which enable responsibility to be distributed.
The vested
interests, which bear considerable responsibility, include the military

13

weapons industry, and research and academic communities (cf. Barnaby).
Under pressures for re-election especially, politicians give in to these
powerful groups, so losing control of political processes.
The argument
is flawed at its final stage.
For many influential politicians either
belong to or represent vested interests.
Thus, though there is no doubt
some ’lack of control’, political processes tend rather to reflect vested
interests than to run out of political control.
11. Another example of spreading the responsibility runs as follows: ’The
self-extinction of our species is not an act that anyone describes as sane
or sensible; nevertheless, it is an act that, without quite admitting it
to ourselves, we plan in certain circumstances to commit’ (p.185).
Even
for most of the planners, extinction is presumably not part of "the plan",
but an unintended consequence; and most of us have little or no role in
the planning, enough of us even campaign against the planning.
Further
’the world ... chose the course of attempting to refashion the system of
sovereignty to accommodate nuclear weapons’ (p.194): the world? This
connects of course with the faulty ideological argument from defence of
fundamentals, e.g. for liberty, for the 'free enterprise
(USA) nation,
and against socialism.
12. A more detailed discussion is given in WP §8, where too the case against
the state from
nuclear dilemmqj'is elaborated.

13. Anders’ explanation is elaborated in Foley; some of the themes are
presented more straightforwardly in Martin.
The incomplete list of items
given, to be investigated in a deeper analysis of the nuclear situation,
paraphrases Foley JS p.164.
14. These motivating drives form part of a larger integrated package,
comprising maximisation drives for power, knowledge, control, wealth,
energy, speed, satisfaction,
. .., for the
newer
Enlightenment (but
Faustian) virtues.
Frequently there are attempts (the human failing for
excessive neatness and simplicity manifested) to reduce the package to one
main component, preference—satisfaction, for instance, or utility.
And
the type of drive is justified (especially for those who have it, but
worry about it) not only as virtuous, which it is not, but also as
rational, which again it is not. C Rationality, the deeply entrenched myth
has it. consists in maximisation,.a suitable mix of these virtues.
*
4

Maximisation of the objects of the drives runs, however, into limitation
The maximisation of self-interest
theorems and associated paradoxes,
runs
into
Newcomb
’s paraj^dox and special cases
(individual or national)
situations.
The
maximisation of power, as
such as Prisoners Dilemma
Christian-Islamic
God,
encounters
the paradox of
the
symbolised in
parallel
maximisation
of
knowledge,
paradoxes of
the
omnipotence,
or
no
consistent
objects
which
are
omnipotent
There are
omniscience.
the
The drive for maximum consistency, often taken to be
omniscient.
epitome of rationality, also leads
leads to
to inconsistency in the case of more
important theories, such as arithmetic and set theory (by virtue of
Godel’s theorem and associated limitative theorems).
15. R & D,

though directed by military requirements

and the arms race, also

14

drives the arms race.
science.

Its role is partly disguised by the myth of neutral

There have been attempts, not only by those committed to technological
determinism, to involve technology more deeply as the main, or single,
source of the nuclear fix (thus especially Mumford, in part thereby
anticipating Commoner’s parallel indictment of technology-choice in the
ecological fix).
It is technology, the mega-machine, running out of
control, that has brought us to this predicament, the nuclear abyss.
Sometimes this serves to exonerate states and their key components and
those who control them, for they are simply caught up by this out-ofcontrol machine; but sometimes the state itself is seen as a machine also
running out of control.
But technological determinism, like other
varieties of stronger (nonanalytic) determinism, is false.
Nuclear
technology was selected and proceeded with, after a well-known political
dispute involving distinguished scientists; it was deliberated, funded and
promoted, while other alternatives were not.
Damaging technologies of the nuclear age were not inevitable, but
deliberately chosen by certain components of the large nation-states. And
much as they need not have been chosen, so they do not have to be
persisted with.
The fashionable inevitability/determinism themes admit
not only of refutation by bringing out the many choices made in persisting
with often recalcitrant technologies.
They also admit of being made to
look ridiculous.
If the Bomb is determined, as part of human evolution,
then if it functions (as it probably will, a matter also determined), it
will serve as a human population control device, a matter also determined.
That is, the Bomb has its fixed evolutionary place in human population
regulation!

16. This reformulation was proposed by N. Griffin, who suggested that the main
qualification can be inferred from Schell’s context.

17. Selecting the usual game theory setting sees to this almost automatically;
for it is then assumed that each player plays to maximize his or her own
advantage. Thus too the presumption in Walzer, p.277, that ’the logic of
deterrence’ is based on eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth assumptions.
(ar

18. Even the
irrationality of /retaliatory * first-strike)
use has been
contested, e.g. it has been wishfully thougnt that America will rise like
a phoenix from the radioactive ashes.
There is moreover a simple solution to Schell’s problem of the "missing
motive" for retaliating to a large strike (p.204), namely, not a
retributive one, but an ideological one: eliminate the prospect of the
future dominance of the rival ideology. Such a motive has been offered -tor
the conjecturAL targeting of Latin America.

19. An analogous confusion of negation with cancellation or obliteration
appears in recent US "star-war" thinking, where US missiles are supposed
to "negate" incoming USSR missiles.
Moral

paradoxes of deterrence

take a different direction.

For although

15

involving negation, they depend upon perhaps questionable interconnexions
of intensional functors.
One type of paradox (considered in WP §5, where
the immorality of deterrence is argued) derives from a policy of credibly
threatening war without however intending to proceed to war, though
credible threats [appear to] imply an intention to proceed. Another style
derives from acclaimed intention to reduce the number of nuclear missiles
when the persistent practice, which Implies an intention, is to increase
the number.
This paradox is technically removed - how satisfactorily is
another matter - by a distinction between longer-term aims and immediate
practice,
a
time-honoured
method
of
removing
contradictions
by
conveniently discerned temporal distinctions.

REFERENCES

G. Anders,

Die Antiquiertheit des Menschen, C.H.

Beck, Munchen, 1956; referred to as

AA.
G. Anders,

Zeitenende:

Endzeitand

Gedanken

atomaren

zur

Situation,

C.H.

Beck,

Munchen, 1972; referred to as AE.
7

'

F. Barnaby,

’Will

be

there

a

War' ,//» Aus tralia

Nuclear

Nuclear

War,

J

(ed.

M. Denborough) , Croom Helm, Australia, 1983?

I.J.

Benton

and G.W.

Partridge,

’"Twilight

at Noon"

overstated’,

13

Ambio

(1984)

49-51.
B. Commoner, The Closing Circle: Nature, Man

P.J. Crutzen,

Technology, Knopf, New York, 1972.

’Darkness after a nuclear war’, Ambio 13 (1984) 52-4.

M. Denborough (ed.), Australian & Nuclear War, Croom Helm, Australia, 1983.

P.R. Erlich and others,

’Long-term biological consequences of nuclear war’,

Science

222 (1983) 1293-1300.
G. Foley,

’Jonathan

Schell:

Genius

-

Philosopher

-

Rewrite

Man’,

typescript,

Brisbane, 1982; referred to as JS.

G. Foley, Nuclear Prophets. The True and the False, typescript, Brisbane, 1983.

16

in
’A Soldier’s Refragfljt’, , Australia

D. Hackworth,

Croom Helm, Australia, 1983

vi^vC
Nuclear War,

(ed. M. Denborough),

/zor-/z

»

K. Jaspers, The Future of Mankind, (trans. E.B. Ashton), University of Chicago Press,
1961.

B. Martin,

Strategy Against

Roots

Grass

War,

Freedom Press,

1984, "ter

Nottingham,

a-p-peax.
L. Mumford,

The Myth of

the Machine,

2 vols.,

Harcourt

Brifce

,

New York,

1970.
G.F. Preddey and others, Future Contingencies 4. Nuclear Disasters, A Report to the
Commission for the Future, Government Printer, Wellington, New Zealand, 1982.

R. Routley and

N. Griffin,

'Unravelling

the meanings of life’, Discussion Papers in

Environmental Philosophy #3, Australian National University, Canberra, 1982.

R. Routley,

Meinong’s

Exploring

Jungle

and

Beyond,

Research

School

of

Social

Sciences, Australian National University, 1980; referred to as JB.

R. Routley, War and Peace I. On the Ethics of Large-Scale Nuclear War and Nuclear
deterrence and the Political Fall-Out, Discussion Papers in Environmental
Philosophy #5, Australian National University, 1984j

R. and

V. Routley,

Philosophy

(ed.

'Human

chauvinism

D. Manujson and

and

Environmental

others),

Research

ethics’,

School of

in

Environmental

Social Sciences,

Australian National University, 1980; referred to as HC.

J. Schell, The Fate of the Earth, Knopf, New York, 1982; referred to as S./F.

R.P.

Turco

and

others,

'Nuclear

winter:

global

consequences

explosions’ , Science 222 (1983) 1283-92.

M. Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars, Basic Books, New York, 1977.

of

multiple nuclear

Appendix 1: On the fate of mankind and tht?_ _ea£_t]i, according to
SchelT~and Anders.
Nuclear prophets and prophetic rubbish. The extinction assumption.
Common emerging themes of Schell and Anders. The extravagant anthro­
pocentric assumption, and some of what is wrong with it. Second death
dismissed. The universality of peril. The alleged universality of
responsibility: the Pogo theme. The correct, but undeveloped, whole
earth theme. Ultimately Schell offers little hope and superficiality.
Nuclear war is war. The logic and illogic of deterrence.

METAPHYSICAL FALL-OUT FROM THE NUCLEAR PREDICAMENT*

A series of nuclear prophets has produced a series of philosophically-oriented
works on nuclear war.^ The series is important for its deeper penetration into the

main nuclear predicament, down to metaphysical levels;
with the

widely

in this the series contrasts

transient superficialities of much of the political commentary.

circulated

influential

and

text

the

of

series

is

undoubtedly that

uncannily

some

of

the

the apparently

deep phenomenological

So, conveniently, main assumptions of Schell and Anders can often

themes of Anders.

be considered together.

their work.

redeploys

of

This skillful piece of

slightest of the "prophets", Schell’s The Fate of the Earth.

media-philosophy

The most

To criticise their assumptions is not of course to belittle

In particular, Schell’s little book, for all its political shortcomings,

is having a significant and much needed effect in shifting attitudes towards nuclear

It is especially valuable for its

arrangements.
the

aftermath

of

nuclear

vivid and horrifying scenarios of

Unfortunately

attack.

it

also

exhibits,

both

philosophically and factually, severe defects.

Some of
’without

is

it

simply rubbish:

to

take

one

example,

consider

the

... a world-wide program of action for preserving the [human]

nothing else

claim that
species

....

that we undertake together can make any practical or moral sense . . . ’

(p.173, rearranged).

This should certainly be rejected philosophically; for there is

no separate moral issue of such overwhelming importance that all other issues become

Moral

morally neutral.
compared

with

more

issues remain moral issues: they don’t cease to be so when

important

elsewhere, e.g. p.130).

moral

issues

(as

Schell

effectively

acknowledges

And the claim should be questioned on more factual grounds.

Humans form a highly resilient species, like rats a survivor species, unlikely to be
entirely exterminated under presently-arranged nuclear holocausts.

The example was selected however because it leads into, indeed presupposes, two
of the major defective assumptions in the work of Schell and Anders:

51.

Nuclear war will eliminate life, human life at least, on earth (the extinction

assumption); and
52.
value,

In

the absence of humans,

very many notions,

not only

those of morality and

but those of time and space for example, make no sense; or, to put it into a

form,

for their
X 2
actual human context (the extravagant anthropocentric assumption).
more

sympathetic

philosophical

these

notions

depend

sense

on an

2

S2 which give Anders’ and Schell’s work some of its apparent

It is applications of

and certainly induce much philosophical puzzlement through the

philosophical depth,

paradoxical propositions generated.
But the frequent applications of S2 depend
essentially on SI.3 For without total extinction there will be humans about, to make

past and future, good and evil, go on making sense!
Granted that assumption SI

the

technological

means appear

extinctgranted

the

prospect

is by no means ruled out as a real possibility, as

available to
of

make it

nuclear

large-scale

to render Homo sapiens

true,

war

does

threaten

leading

Even so SI appears unlikely in

centres of Western civilization with obliteration.

the light of present - admittedly inadequate - information.

Even in Canada, which

lies on the polar route of Soviet missiles, human life should be able to continue in
certain northern areas (according to Canadian medical studies).
SI

is

extremely flimsy.

for example,

It depends,

Schell s argument to

on an unjustified extrapolation

from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere, but for the most part it does that very

North Zunerican thing, of contracting the world to North America.

(All that matters,

all worthwhile civilization, is in USA, or at least, to be more charitable, in North

America and Europe, which will also be wiped out, i.e. its human population will be

eliminated in

the nuclear

holocaust.)

Some of

the data

Schell relies

upon,

for

example the effect of nuclear explosions on the ozone layer, was significantly out of
date even when he wrote.

Other effects than ozone destruction, such as variations in

ultraviolent radiation and temperature levels, apparently extrapolate even less well

from North

A factually superior study of nuclear disaster produced at

to South.

about the same time as Schell’s, by Preddey and others,

indicates that parts of the

Southern Hemisphere,

latitudes of

such as

New Zealand

and

southern

Latin America

could escape relatively unscathed from even most massive northern exchanges.

Doomsday prophets
belated) scientific

may appear

forecasts of

to have

gained new

purchase through

recent

a nuclear winter following upon nuclear war.

(if

But

although these forecasts certainly add a new, and alarming, ecological dimension to
the very damaging consequences of large-scale nuclear war, they do not sustain the
extinction assumption3.
On the available evidence, human life will continue, though

no

doubt with new complications and

mid-latitude coastal

life will go on,

for example

in many southern

regions outside zones of radiation fall-out.

More generally,

simplifications,

though likely seriously and irreversibly impoverished through loss

of valuable nonhuman systems and creatures.

Nuclear prophets usually see the world (though with most of it carried along) as
already set

, in crucial respects, on the route to nuclear catastrophe.

Much of the

3

way taken is seen as both inevitable and irreversible.
insist

upon

unlearning"

of

"impossibility

the

Thus both Anders and Schell

means of

the

manufacturing nuclear

It would seem that extinction, which they both foresee, would furnish a good

bombs.

medium for unlearning nuclear technology (something very like this emerges from van
Daniken’s

of an

theory

"high"

earlier

they would

of S2,

In virtue

technology).

however exclude such a possibility as a case of unlearning, contending wrongly that

the notion

longer

no

made

sense.

But what

message

is

the

-

as

if

impossibility-of-unlearning

eventual

use

of

the

technology

they

to suggest

again want

learnt

having

the

of

inevitability

with

the

development

and

all

the means

determined, and manufacture and use ceased to be a matter of choice.
views have

been advanced.

technological advances

cases of

But

are not

they

that have

been

not

tenable.

Certainly such

are many

There

taken advantage of,

was

else

examples of

there are even

and

technological developments that have been manufactured but not marketed or

used. There is not something very special about nuclear apparatus that puts it beyond

the scope of such generalisations.

Both Schell and Anders do claim that there are very special things about nuclear

weapons, notably that they do not allow "experiments".

Even if this were true just

of nuclear weapons - and it is certainly not of smaller weapons - it would not rebut
the

argument against

previous

inevitability

the

of nuclear weapons.

And

in

fact

Anders and (even) Schell hedge their claims about testing, and the limits to nuclear

work,

scientific

large-scale

to

weapons

and

independent

experiments which

interfere with the observers and those outside the "laboratories".

latched onto major points:
cumulative

such

effects,

of

effects
as

in particular,

fireballs

or

Again they have

we have at present no way of testing the

wreapons

in

concert,

firestorms,

or

changes

nuclear

large

do not

e.g.

in

for

more

holistic

atmospheric

coupled

circulation and

radiation fields.

enough with

these crucial effects must remain largely untested and hypothetical

it,

in character.

Short of a large-scale nuclear war,

and likely

Nonetheless enough data can be assembled to carry through informative

modellings, which point to the improbability of SI, and so undermine applications of
S2.

The
Schell

penetration

and

Anders,

of human
but

is

a

chauvinism,
product

of

as

in S2,

Western

is not

something peculiar

philosophy,

European

to

philosophy

especially.

This chauvinism is unfortunately alive and still well, Anders’ version

of

just one striking illustration (cf. AA p.252ff.).

S2

being

penetrated Anglo-American philosophy,

and

has

been extended

It has also deeply

under the

influence of

Wittgenstein’s work, where even the necessary truths of mathematics are taken to be a

product

of

human

conventions,

and

would

vanish

with

humans!

Such

are

alleged

4

implications of extinction: but the fact is that the truths of arithmetic are in no
way dependent on the existence of humans or humanoids or of gods or giraffes.
with necessary truths and falsehoods so with contingent ones:

As

very many propositions

about the world do not depend in any way for their truth-value or content on humans
or their communities.

In

human

Schell,

obnoxious Kantian

form.

dished

is

chauvinism

and

Thoughts

up

in

propositions,

a

particularly

time

powerful

history and

tenses,

and

and

memories, values and morality, all depend on the life-giving presence of human beings

future or merely potential humans are not enough,

- past or

that are not

persons

Thus, according to Schell (p.140, e.g.),

humans are certainly not enough.

’... the

thought "Humanity is now extinct" is an impossible one for a rational person, because
as

it

soon as

is, we are not.

In imagining any other event, we look ahead

moment that is still within the stream of human time,

... ’.

a

later

rational

erroneously denies that:
present, and future ...’
into past,

divides time

may

well

be

to

able

ordering

time

it

have

Schell

truly.

there is no "later" ’outside the human tenses of past,
(p.140)7.
Human extinction eliminates ’the creature that

present and future’: so annihilation cannot

But it is simply false that the tenses are human;

(p.143).
local

creature

The thought is however

Though we no doubt have it

perfectly possible for humans; we can have it right now.
falsely,

to a

(perceptible

to

many

creatures

’come to pass’

the tenses depend on a

other

than humans,

but

not

depending at all on that perceptibility for its viability) relating other times to

to now (also a human-independent location, evident to other creatures,

the present,

and borne witness to by such sequences as the passing seasons).

And annihilation may

also too easily come to pass, for many humans in the North at least, as it came to
pass in recent geological times that humans began to exist upon earth.

Before that

there was a time before there were any human beings.
Anders’ argument for the demise of time,

even what has been’,

is also

that

’what has been will no longer be

explicitly (and narrowly)

’for what

verif icationist:

would the difference be between what has only been and what has never been,
is no

remain

one

remember the things

to

many

sorts

organisms would

of

difference;

be different.

that have been’

for

one,

Temporal

the

(AA p.245).
history

themes do not lack

if there

There would

still

many

other

recorded

in

’legitimacy because not

registered [or verified] by anyone’; truth, significance, still less meaning, are not
matters of human verification.

Here,

as

elsewhere,

the

human

chauvinism

is

mixed

with

other

distorting

metaphysical assumptions of our Western heritage, in particular, verificationism and

5

ontological assumptions (to the effect that there are severe difficulties in talking

about

exist)0.

not

does

what

Thus,

Schell

example,

for

takes

over

dubious

metaphysics from Freud, according to whom "it is indeed impossible to imagine our own

death; and whenever we attempt to do so, we can perceive that we are in fact still
present

spectators"

as

refuting

(p.138).

fact

In

first.

the

clause goes

second

The

there

is

great

no

situations which undermine both Freud’s

counterfactual

a good

distance

difficulty
claims.

in

towards

describing

The same goes

for

Schell’s extensions of human chauvinism into one of its main traditional strongholds,
value theory:

evil,

'... the simple and basic fact [sic!]

or

service

(p.171).

lamenting

harm,

rejoicing

or

that before there can be good or
there

be

must

life’,

human

life

These are no facts, but deeply entrenched philosophical dogmas (which have

been exposed and criticised elsewhere, e.g. LIC).

Naturally many things will disappear with the extinction of humans: trivially
there will be no more humans (unless humans re-evolve or are recreated), and thus no

more human communities, human institutions, human activities, human emotions, and so

But it is already going too far to suggest, as Anders does, that there will

forth.

’no thought,

accordingly be

no love,

sacrifice, no image, no song

no struggle, no pain, no hope, no comfort, no
For there are, and may continue to exist, other

...’.

creatures than humans with emotion, struggles,

songs,

...

Nor will the ending of

.

all such human ventures, if it comes to pass, show that all past human ventures have
been 'all in vain', meaningless, and already so to say dead.

The decay of the solar

system, or the heat-death of the universe even, will not show that worthwhile human
9
activities were not worthwhile.

Several of the other notions and themes common to Schell and Anders derive from

their shared assumptions SI

of a Second Death,

(in Revelations)
under

SI,

rendered

is

and S2.

reckoned

meaningless

a

and

species

and

all

extinction came

redeployed

'second death',
already

already 'overhung with death'

'a second death',

It is these that underlie the biblical notion

'seems

(S p.166).

because by

to

to

pass,

generations
the

(S

stronger

be

Thus,

not merely one's own but

future

by both.

'The death of mankind',

S2 and

dead'

(AA

SI remaining

p.244,

S p.166)

life is

and is

too, more trivially, a person faces

in addition that greater death of the

p.166,

p.115).

However

even

notion would not be vindicated,

if

nuclear

because

it

depends on the fallacious inference to the meaninglessness of preceding life and on
the very

questionable representation

of. this

meaninglessness as

a sort

of death.

There is no such Second Death: creatures die just once, perhaps all at about the same

time.

The idea of a Second Death lacks even a solid metaphysical base.

6

together with the minor principle

From SI,
doesn’t differ

in degree,

comes

extinction being an absolute

that

the universality of

peril

theme that

we are all

exposed to peril in the same degree’, which is accordingly ’disguised’ and ’difficult

to

recognise’,

with

In

SI.

situation,

there is no contrast (AE p.64;

because

any

event,

not

Indians of

the

peoples

all

Germans of northern Europe.

ihis theme falls

imperilled

equally

are

southern Patagonia

S p.150).

being rather

by

nuclear

the

better placed

than the

Nor are all people equally locked into the situation or

incapacitated by it; the prospects are different in different countries and places.

Nor,

Schell

likewise,

contrast

(in

all

are

to

people

equally responsible,

a

repeatedly infiltrates.

Anders)

pernicious

This

is

the

theme which

Pogo theme,

according to which
S3.
Responsibility for the present nuclear predicament (fiasco, really) distributes
onto everybody, it belongs to every human in the world.

But

there

is also, mixed

a weaker more

in,

plausible claim that gives lie

to the

stronger one, namely that we have some responsibility (the Nazi situation is
compared).
An especially blatant example of the Pogo themeH runs as follows: ’...

the

world’s

leaders

political

...

though they

now menace

weapons, do so only with our permission, and even at our bidding.
true for democracies’

(pp.229-30).

positive

pose

the

since we

sense,

threat of it,

At least, this is

theme is elaborated elsewhere:

The

... we are

(For the populations of the superpowers this is true

the authors of that extinction.

in a

with nuclear

the earth

pay for extinction and

support the governments that

the peoples of the non-nuclear-armed world it is

while for

true only in the negative sense that they fail try to do anything about the danger/
But this is more of an argument indicting representative government, by
(p.152).
revealing

insensitivity

its

unresponsiveness

and

to

many

of

the

populace

they

allegedly govern, not to mention those affected by its activities who are not
represented at all (namely foreigners).
But Schell conveniently neglects all such

’... we are potential mass killers.
points:
that it makes of all of us underwriters of
(p.152).

The moral cost of nuclear armaments is

the slaughter of hundreds of millions

And again ’[as] perpetrators ... we convey the steady message ... that life

not only is not sacred but is worthless;

(p.153).

everyone to be killed’

that

... .it had been judged acceptable for

Little of this is true.

Those who campaign against

nuclear arrangements, vote against nuclear—committed parties so far as is possible,

destruction,

and

responsibility for the nuclear situation does not simply distribute onto them.

Nor

and

the

are

like,

does responsibility

certainly

— or

everyone

attributes

to

decisions

taken



not

the

the unlikely

fall

in "liberal

on

authors

opinions as

those

democracies"

who

have

of

to
done

potential

worth

Schell

less.

even by representatives

illegitimately

Responsibility

for

(in the unlikely

7

event of

this happening

in the case of anything as important as defence) cannot be

traced back to those represented, since among many other things, a representative is

only

representative of a

party which offers

a complex and often ill-characterised

package of policies, and a voter may vote for zero or more policies of this package.
Only in the (uncommon) event of a clear single issue referendum, which is adopted,

still of a qualified sort, be sheeted home, to those who voted

can responsibility,

for it, not to everyone in the community.

While S3 is false, there is an important

related theme that is much more plausible; namely that the present nuclear situation

generates responsibilities for every socially involved person.

When moreover the Pogo assumption is disentangled from accompanying themes, part
of what results is decidedly along the right lines; namely

S4.

The controllers [not to be confused, in Schell’s fashion, with all of us] have

failed to change our

pre-nuclear institutions.

The sovereign system is out of step

with the nuclear age, the one-earth system, etc. (the whole earth theme).
Though Schell remains relatively clear about the serious defects of the state and the
frequently immoral purposes for which the state is used, unfortunately he often loses
sight of

this important

arrives

at

state which is,

the

critique of

theme (indicated pp.187-8).

the conclusion

that

by and

large,

Yet S4 forms part of Schell s

scattered and

the nation-state has outlasted

fragmentary.

Schell

its usefulness,

and

that new political institutions more ’consonant with the global reality’ are required
as a matter of urgency.

But he evades what he admits is the major task, making out

viable alternatives.12 At most he makes some passing gestures, some pointing towards
the Way Up to world political control.

Solutions to
way,

the nuclear dilemma come,

from the Top Down;

(cf. p.230).

those

if not easily, in a similar simplistic

who can must appeal

to the Top,

to those who govern

Schell places his hope in treaties for arms reduction and limitations,

such as SALT, and in world government,

especially p.227,

bottom paragraph).

through the United Nations (see p.225ff. and

Given the record of

these organisations and

treaties, the negotiations and regulators, it is by now a pathetic faith.

Nor is a

serious need felt for further analysis of the nuclear situation, to investigate the
origins of nuclear technology,

to explore the roots of nuclear blindness, to consider

effective changes to military-industrial organisation and ways of life.

But

some of

the requisite

deeper analysis of

the nuclear situation and, more

The roots of
generally, of the roots of war can be found in Anders and elsewhere.
the nuclear predicament are not confined to the ideologically —aligned arrangements of

nation-states,

but

penetrate

also

into

key

components

of

those

states,

their

8

and their supporting bureaucracies.

their controlling classes,

military,

And both

within the arrangements of states, what accounts in part for the arrangements, and in

key components

of

states,

the

science

for

super-states, to be achieved through military-oriented
in several
enables
domination,
and
which
involves

superiority by the

and

technology,

forms.

interrelated
surplus

the drive

Thus the push for

the accompanying privilege).

power and domination (and, often,

[nuclear]

feature is

a conspicuous and crucial

product

can be

accumulated

at home

(from

where enough

large nation-state,

is the

The main power-base

from abroad,

and

and

bled

from

nature) to proceed with military and bureaucratic ambitions and to found the highj
15
technology research and development means to ever more expendable powei and energy*
prospect of nuclear
war, it is not ultimately enough just to downgrade the mam power-base, the nation­
state; it is also important to alter key components of the state, and, more
sweepingly, to remove trouble-making patterns embedded in all these social and

In changing

the

structural

political arrangements,

in

state

relations,

political

arrangements

chauvinistic relations .

relations,

but

in

the

eliminate

namely patterns of domination,

organisation,

human-animal

to

patterns manifested not only

relations,

white-coloured

human-nature

relations;

to

remove,

male-female

in

short,

However not everything needs to be accomplished at once; and

the cluster of damaging power and domination relations tied into war can be tackled
And there the problems can largely be narrowed to certain problems of
separately.

states and certain key components of states.
analysis he does offer of the problem with states, Schell repeats the
familiar false contrast of state expediency with morality, as a contrast between
The teaching that 'the end
"raison d’etat" and the Socratic—Christian ethics.
justifies the means is the basis on which governments, in all times, have licensed
In what

themselves

to

commit crimes of

every

sort’

(p.134).

So

'states may do virtually

Schell then argues however, that
extinction nullifies end-means justification by destroying every end; but again the
argument is far from sound, and depends on human chauvinism (as under S2) combined

anything whatever in the name of [their] survival’.

with ontological

assumptions.

Even if all humans were

extinguished (as under SI)

ends could remain, for instance for nonhumans such as animals and extraterrestrials,
The ends-means argument can however be repaired to remove such
actual or not.
objections: instead it is claimed that extinction nullifies ends-means justification
by frustrating the realisation of every relevant end - meaning by 'relevant', in this

context, those ends the realisation of which the state appeals to in justification of
I6
its nuclear policies.
A nuclear war, even without human extinction but with severe
enough losses, would undoubtedly frustrate the realisation of relevant state ends.

9

So

even

from

an

perspective,

expediency

policies

super-state

open

are

severe

to

criticism, for example as motivationally irrational in the nuclear risks taken.

As to the part of the state and (state) sovereignty in war,

Schell leaves us in

A sovereign state is virtually defined as one that enjoys the right and

no doubt.

power to go to war in defence or pursuit of its interests (p.187).

War arises from

how things are; from the arrangement of political affairs via jealous nation-states
Indeed there is a two-way linkage between having sovereignty and capacity

(p.188).

to wage war.

to organise

On the one side, sovereignty is, Schell contends, necessary for people
for war.

sovereignty.

On the other

side, without war it

is impossible

to preserve

The

Neither of these contentions is transparently clear as it stands.

first is damaged by civil war and the like, the second by the persistence of small

the macro-state

Now that

nonmilitary states.

system is entrenched, it is however

easy for conservatives (in particular) to argue from the "realities
life,

which include self-interest,

that

peace

are

arrangements

aggression,

readily

fear,

hatred.

as

dismissed

of international

is on this basis

It

unrealistic,

utopian,

even

(amusingly) as extremist (cf. p.L85).
Schell’s further

theme

nuclear

that

"war"

is not

war threatens,

however,

to

undermine his case against the sovereign state; for example, his ends-means argument

and the argument based on its nuclear-war making capacity.

theme needs much qualification,

Fortunately the not-war

and starts out from an erroneous characterisation of

war as ’a violent means employed by a nation to achieve an end’ (p.189): but this is
neither necessary nor sufficient for war.

very different

What is correct is that nuclear wars are

from previous conventional wars

(cf. WP).

Schell goes on

that war requires an end which nuclear "war" does not have.

to claim

But nuclear attacks can

certainly have ends (even if large nuclear wars cannot be won in the older sense: but
It is also claimed that war depends on weakness; on

not all wars or games are won).

one side being defeated
’no

happen,

But

what

one’s

these

on a decision by arms.

strength

sorts

of

fails

war

this doesn t

until both sides have been annihilated’

considerations

nuclear wars are not wars, but

But in nuclear

contribute

to

showing

is

(p.190).

again

that they are not wars of certain sorts,

not

that

e.g., not

just wars (because they fail on such criteria as reasonable prospect of success anu

improvement), not rational wars (in a good sense), and so on.

that conventional wars

have

argument

persisted

into

nuclear

times

does

damage

to

Schell’s

that nuclear

weapons have also ruined "conventional" wars, and his connected theme that the demise

of war

court

has left no means
of

appeal

has

mistaken propositions:

been

to finally settle disputes between nations, for the final

removed

(pp. 192—193) •

The

theme depends

on a

pair of

that concerning the demise of conventional war, and the idea

10

that

war of

some

sort has

to be

final "court of appeal" between nations (for

the

there are other types of contests that could serve, and there is also the possibility
of more cooperative behaviour,

joint referenda).

e.g.

imports the

The theme also

social-Darwinian assumption of Clausewicz (the "logic of war

that war has to

theme)

proceed to the technological limit ~ as if war and violence were thoroughly natural
activities, independent of recognised social settings (for winning, surrender, etc.),

On the contrary, wars are parasitic on social organisations

and ruleless activities.

such as states and are governed by a range of understandings, conventions and rules.

They are a social phenomenon, with a rule structure, if not a logic.

Much capital has been made not merely from "the logic of war

but from what is

now called "the logic of deterrence" and the "logic of nuclear [strategic] planning .

The message that is usually supposed to emerge is that the massive arrangements the

world

is

entangled

now

in

are

perfectly

sound,

logical,

represents little more than a cheap semantical trick.

rational.

however this

Logic in no way justifies the

present arrangements, or anything like them, or renders them reasonable.

There are

logics of decision (as presented, e.g., for the classical case in Jeffrey) which can
be applied

in

strategic

planning;

but

yield specific results without

they do not

desirability measures being assigned to alternative outcomes, that is without values

being pumped in, extralogically .

There are various ways these value assignments may

be determined, to meet moral requirements or not; but in nuclear strategic planning
they have invariably been settled on the basis of expediency
however,

to

cover

something

like

’reasoning

(even from a national

fail:18 yet

threat of

further and

of

stresses (p.213)

threatening

use

interest viewpoint)

the success

this

considerations entering

into

the

’the illogic of deterrence’, for he emphasizes

For instance he

unreasonableness.

rationality

rational

and

In these terms, Schell, who like others enjoys playing with

the term ’logic of’, should write of
supposed

lor the most pait,

’logic of’ tends to be used very loosely, as a word of general commendation,

policy or strategy of’.

its

.

of deterrence

unjustifiable and

the disparity between the

weapons and

of nuclear

the

irrationality

of actually using them should the threat

doctrine depends on the credibility of

irrational use.

the

Indeed Schell wants to go still

locate a contradiction in deterrence (e.g.

but

the argument

depends on an interesting confusion of contradiction with cancellation,

along with

the assumption that deterrence involves cancellation.

irrational, it is immoral, but it is not inconsistent.

pp.z-01~2>;

Nuclear deterrence may well be
ft

NOTES
This is a revised version of ’Appendix 1. On the fate of mankind and the earth,
according to Schell, and to Anders' of my monograph referred to as WP, where
several points, only touched upon in this review, are further developed.
References are by way of authors' names or else through obvious acronyms, given
in the list of references which follows.
. The distinguishing term is from Foley's Nuclear Prophets, where many
leading anti-nuclear prophets are assessed. One well-known prophet not so
considered there is Jaspers, presumably because his main work comes out in
entirely the wrong direction. It gives heavy philosophical attire to the
better-dead-than-red abomination. A main argument against Jaspers so
presented is simple. However bad being red might become (at present it is
debatably worse than living under some of the totalitarian regimes the
free West props up), it still gives humans a further chance for good
lives, since regimes fall or can be toppled: but total annihilation
removes that all-important opportunity.

But of course Jaspers does not present his position so simply. Rather his
contention is that there are circumstances where, and principles for
which, a person or group of persons ought to sacrifice even their lives.
Freedom is such: a life worth living is a free life. But the latter point
can be granted without conceding that sacrifice is a possible means to it.
While the sacrifice of one or a few lives may be a possible (if dubiously
effective) way to free lives for others, certainly the sacrifice of all
lives is not a possible route to free lives for all, since no human lives
remain.
To this extent Schell is right (on p.131) in accusing Jaspers of
an each to all fallacy.
Jasper's idea that "the free life that they try
to save by all possible means is more than mere life or lives" breaks down
when applied to all participating people.
None can gain free lives by
extinction of all: that is not a possible route to life even.
. A detailed comparison of Schell and Anders' remarkably similar versions of
S2 is made in Foley JS.
. Should S2 appeal, as it may, to suitable communities of humans, SI will
require reformulation in similar terms; and the argument that follows
needs minor adjustment, with appropriate groups replacing individuals.
. Thus the Last Person argument, important in environmental ethics (as HC
explains), is no longer merely hypothetical, awaiting for instance the
remote death of the Sun, but assumes new urgency.
It is this sort of
argument that connects environmental ethics and nuclear ethics, at a
deeper metaphysical level.
The Bomb and Bulldozer are out of the same
technological Pandora's box.

Nuclear technology is not the only route to human extinction, nor the only
Pandora's box.
Biological and chemical means are perhaps even more
effective, and certainly can be more selective in what gets extinguished.
Nuclear extinction would presumably require a different and more massive
exchange than is usually assumed in nuclear war scenarios, with heavy

12

targeting
in
particular
of
Southern Hemispheric
internationally-recognised nuclear-free zones).

sites

(including

5. Nor do recent scientific studies claim as much.
The most intrepid of
these studies, Erlich and others, only contends that in certain worst-case
circumstances, ’the possibility of the extinction of Homo sapiens cannot
be excluded’ (p.1299).
The study admits that, in the scenario described,
’it seems unlikely ... Homo spaiens would be forced to extinctions
immediately ’, and the difficulties indicated in the way of long-term human
survival are exaggerated.
In particular, many of the drastic effects predicted for Northern mid­
latitudes are reflected in very much milder form in equivalent Southern
latitudes.
For example, temperatures for regions with maritine climates
appear likely to vary by only a few degrees and perhaps neglibly for many
agricultural purposes after 100 days (cf. Turco and others, p.1237 case
29, and p.1286).
Similarly the extent of nuclear darkness and of surface
ultraviolet radiation will be appreciably less in the South and perhaps
minor for many crucial purposes, such as photosynthesis and human outdoor
activity, after 100 dayss (cf. the data in Benton and Partridge).
No doubt some scientifically respectable sections of the environmental and
peace movements have an interest in exaggerating the probable effects of
nuclear holocaust
for life on earth, much as many statesmen and
strategists have an interest in minimizing them.
And there is certainly
substantial margin for error and for variation in conclusions drawn.
For
Crutzen (p.59) is right that ’analyses of the environmental effects of a
global nuclear war remain
. . . uncertain .. . because of a lack of
information on various important processes [among other things] ... The
environment might become extremely hostile, because of hitherto overlooked
changes in the composition of the atmosphere*, again among other things.
Such uncertainty bodes considerable caution as rational.
The way to err
is clear.

6. Not
merely
by
technological
determinists
of
marxist
persuasion.
Hackworth, a former US general, argues by straight induction that if the
US military has a weapon it will use it.
7. The appalling theme that humans create past, present and future (etc.) is
repeated elsewhere, e.g. p.173.
8. For detailed refutation of these assumptions, see JB.

9. Anders is here (AA pp.244-5) relying upon a version of the argument from
perserverence, criticised in detail in Routley and Griffin.
10. An interesting converse of this theme is sometimes advanced, that no one
is responsible, the whole thing is out of control.
The technological
version of this no-responsibility theme is discussed below (fn 15). More
satisfactory is the theme that nuclear arrangements are out of political
control, but for reasons, in terms of vested interests in keeping nuclear
things going, which enable responsibility to be distributed.
The vested
interests, which bear considerable responsibility, include the military

13

weapons industry, and research and academic communities (cf. Barnaby).
Under pressures for re-election especially, politicians give in to these
powerful groups, so losing control of political processes.
The argument
is flawed at its final stage.
For many influential politicians either
belong to or represent vested interests.
Thus, though there is no doubt
some ’lack of control’, political processes tend rather to reflect vested
interests than to run out of political control.
11. Another example of spreading the responsibility runs as follows: ’The
self-extinction of our species is not an act that anyone describes as sane
or sensible; nevertheless, it is an act that, without quite admitting it
to ourselves, we plan in certain circumstances to commit’ (p.185).
Even
for most of the planners, extinction is presumably not part of "the plan",
but an unintended consequence; and most of us have little or no role in
the planning, enough of us even campaign against the planning.
Further
'the world ... chose the course of attempting to refashion the system of
sovereignty to accommodate nuclear weapons' (p.194): the world? This
connects of course with the faulty ideological argument from defence of
fundamentals, e.g. for liberty, for the "free enterprise" (USA) nation,
and against socialism.

12. A more detailed discussion is given in WP ^8, where too the case against
the state from nuclear dilemmas is elaborated.
13. Anders' explanation is elaborated in Foley; some of the themes are
presented more straightforwardly in Martin.
The incomplete list of items
given, to be investigated in a deeper analysis of the nuclear situation,
paraphrases Foley JS p.164.

14. These motivating drives form part of a larger integrated package,
comprising maximisation drives for power, knowledge, control, wealth,
energy, speed, satisfaction,
..., for the "newer" Enlightenment (but
Faustian) virtues.
Frequently there are attempts (the human failing for
excessive neatness and simplicity manifested) to reduce the package to one
main component, preference-satisfaction, for instance, or utility.
And
the type of drive is justified (especially for those who have it, but
worry about it) not only as virtuous, which it is not, but also as
rational, which again it is not.
Rationality, the deeply entrenched myth
has it, consists in maximisation, of a suitable mix of these virtues.
Maximisation of the objects of the drives runs, however, into limitation
The maximisation of self-interest
theorems and associated paradoxes
(individual or national) runs into Newcomb's paradox and special cases of
The maximisation of power, as
it such as Prisoners Dilemma situations.
the
Christian-lslamic
God,
encounters the paradox of
symbolised in
the
parallel
maximisation
of
knowledge,
paradoxes of
omnipotence,
or
There
are
no
consistent
objects
which
arc
omnipotent
omniscience.
the
The
drive
for
maximum
consistency,
often
taken
to
be
omniscient.
epitome of rationality, also leads to inconsistency in the case of more
important theories, such as arithmetic and set theory (by virtue of
Godel’s theorem and associated limitative theorems).

15. R & D,

though directed by military requirements and the arms race, also

14

drives the arms race.
science.

Its role is partly disguised by the myth of neutral

There have been attempts, not only by those committed to technological
determinism, to involve technology more deeply as the main, or single,
source of the nuclear fix (thus especially Mumford, in part thereby
anticipating Commoner’s parallel indictment of technology-choice in the
ecological fix).
It is technology, the mega-machine, running out of
control, that has brought us to this predicament, the nuclear abyss.
Sometimes this serves to exonerate states and their key components and
those who control them, for they are simply caught up by this out-ofcontrol machine; but sometimes the state itself is seen as a machine also
running out of control.
But technological determinism, like other
varieties of stronger (nonanalytlc) determinism, is false.
Nuclear
technology was selected and proceeded with, after a well-known political
dispute involving distinguished scientists; it was deliberated, funded and
promoted, while other alternatives were not.
Damaging technologies of the nuclear age were not inevitable, but
deliberately chosen by certain components of the large nation-states. And
much as they need not have been chosen, so they do not have to be
persisted with.
The fashionable inevitability/determinism themes admit
not only of refutation by bringing out the many choices made in persisting
with often recalcitrant technologies.
They also admit of being made to
look ridiculous.
If the Bomb is determined, as part of human evolution,
then if it functions (as it probably will, a matter also determined), it
will serve as a human population control device, a matter also determined.
That is, the Bomb has its fixed evolutionary place in human population
regulation!

16. This reformulation was proposed by N. Griffin, who suggested that the main
qualification can be inferred from Schell’s context.
17. Selecting the usual game theory setting sees to this almost automatically;
for it is then assumed that each player plays to maximize his or her own
advantage. Thus too the presumption in Walzer, p.277, that ’the logic of
deterrence’ is based on eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth assumptions.

18. Even the irrationality of retaliatory (or first-strike) use has been
contested, e.g. it has been wishfully thought that America will rise like
a phoenix from the radioactive ashes.

There is moreover a simple solution to Schell’s problem of the "missing
motive" for
retaliating to a large strike (p.204), namely, not a
retributive one, but an ideological one: eliminate the prospect of the
future dominance of the rival ideology.
Such a motive has been offered
for the conjectured targeting of Latin America.
19. An analogous confusion of negation with cancellation or obliteration
appears in recent US "star-war" thinking, where US missiles are supposed
to "negate" incoming USSR missiles.
Moral

paradoxes of deterrence

take a different direction.

For although

involving negation, they depend upon perhaps questionable interconnexions
of intensional functors.
One type of paradox (considered in WP §5, where
the immorality of deterrence is argued) derives from a policy of credibly
threatening war without however intending to proceed to war, though
credible threats [appear to] imply an intention to proceed. Another style
derives from acclaimed intention to reduce the number of nuclear missiles
when the persistent practice, which implies an intention, is to increase
the number.
This paradox is technically removed - how satisfactorily is
another matter - by a distinction between longer-term aims and immediate
practice,
a
time-honoured
method
of
removing
contradictions
by
conveniently discerned temporal distinctions.

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G. Anders,
AA.

Die Antiquiertheit des Menschen, C.H.

G. z\nders, Endzeitand Zeitenende: Gedanken
Munchen, 1972; referred to as AE.

zur

Beck, Munchen, 1956; referred to as

atomaren

F. Barnaby, ’Will there be a Nuclear War’, in Australia
M. Denborough), Croom Helm, Australia, 1983, 2-37.

I.J.

Benton
49-51.

and G.W.

Partridge,

’"Twilight

at Noon"

Situation,

and

Beck,

C.H.

War,

Nuclear

overstated', Ambio

(ed.

(1984)

13

B. Commoner, The Closing Circle: Nature, Man and Technology, Knopf, New York, 1972.
P.J. Crutzen, ’Darkness after a nuclear war', Ambio 13 (1984) 52-4.

M. Denborough (ed.), Australian & Nuclear War, Croom Helm, Australia, 1983.
P.R. Erlich and others, ’Long-term biological consequences of nuclear war’,
222 (1983) 1293-1300.
G. Foley,
'Jonathan Schell: Genius Brisbane, 1982; referred to as JS.

Philosopher

-

Rewrite

Man',

Science

typescript,

G. Foley, Nuclear Prophets. The True and the False, typescript, Brisbane, 1983.
D. Hackworth, 'A Soldier's Report’, Australia and Nuclear War,
Croom Helm, Australia, 1983, 209-12.

(ed. M. Denborough),

K. Jaspers, The Future of Mankind, (trans. E.B. Ashton), University of Chicago Press,

16

1961.
B. Martin, Grass Roots Strategy Against War, Freedom Press, Nottingham, 1984.

L. Mumford, The Myth of the Machine, 2 vols., Harcourt Brace, New York, 1970.
G.F. Preddey and others, Future Contingencies 4. Nuclear Disasters, A Report to the
Commission for the Future, Government Printer, Wellington, New Zealand, 1982.
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of

Social

R. Routley, War and Peace I. On the Ethics of Large-Scale Nuclear War and Nuclear
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Philosophy #5, Australian National University, 1984; referred to as WP.
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Philosophy (ed. D. Mannison and others), Research School of Social Sciences,
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R.P.

Turco and others, ’Nuclear winter: global
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consequences

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of

multiple

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Collection

Citation

Richard Sylvan, “Box 71, Item 4: Two drafts of Metaphysical fallout from the nuclear predicament,” Antipodean Antinuclearism, accessed February 23, 2024, https://antipodean-antinuclearism.org/items/show/104.

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