Supporting your high street Find out how »
Basket Image


Understanding Torture, Hardback Book

Understanding Torture Hardback

Part of the Contemporary Ethical Debates series


Despite Victor Hugo's proclamation (in the 19th-century) that torture no longer exists, we find it in virtually every corner of the world - even now, even in those nations that claim to be paradigms of civility.

In this important new book, J. Jeremy Wisnewski examines and explains the moral dimensions of this perennial practice, paying careful attention to what lessons torture can teach us about our own moral psychology.

Why is it that torture still exists in a world where it is routinely regarded as immoral?

Is it possible to eliminate torture, and if so, how?

What exactly does it mean to call something 'torture,' and is it always morally reprehensible?

Arguments in favour of torture abound, but Wisnewski contends that there are powerful arguments for a universal prohibition against torture.

By systematically exposing the weaknesses of the dominant arguments for torture, drawing on resources in both analytic and continental philosophy, as well as relevant empirical literature in psychology, Wisnewski aims to provide an over-arching account of torture: what it is, why it's wrong, and why even the most civilized people can nevertheless engage in it.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Ethics & moral philosophy
  • ISBN: 9780748635375

Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops

Also by J. Jeremy Wisnewski   |  View all

Also in the Contemporary Ethical Debates series   |  View all