The Morality of Weapons Research

Why it is Wrong to Design Weapons

  • John Forge

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Ethics book series (BRIEFSETHIC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. John Forge
    Pages 1-11
  3. John Forge
    Pages 13-27
  4. John Forge
    Pages 29-46
  5. John Forge
    Pages 47-64
  6. John Forge
    Pages 65-75
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 95-103

About this book


This book addresses the morality of engaging in weapons research, a topic that has been neglected but which is extremely important. It is argued that this activity is both morally wrong and morally unjustifiable, and this implies that moral persons should not engage in it. The argument is not based on any pacifist assumptions: it is not assumed that neither individuals nor states should not defend themselves. What is wrong with weapons research is that it is the first step in the production of weapons, weapons are the means to harm, and harming without justification is always wrong. Those who study science, for instance those who are interested in the responsibilities of the scientist, are given a new perspective, while those who are practicing scientists will realize that they should not consider working to design new or improved weapons systems. This book is of interest to students and  researchers working in  ethics and technology, philosophy of technology, military ethics, and history of technology.


ethics of weapons research weapons as the means to harm justification for weapons research outcomes of weapons research just war theory weapons research and morality weapons to prevent harm weapons and ethics research ethics weapons design common morality defence and deterrence philosophy of technology

Authors and affiliations

  • John Forge
    • 1
  1. 1.School of History and Philosophy of ScienceThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

Bibliographic information