Single Idea 7404

[catalogued under 20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 5. Action Dilemmas / c. Omissions]

Full Idea

Grotius explored the implications of the idea that nation-states were under no obligation to help one another, but they were obliged not to harm each other.

Gist of Idea

Nations are not obliged to help one-another, but are obliged not to harm one another


report of Hugo Grotius (On the Law of War and Peace [1625]) by Richard Tuck - Hobbes Ch.1

Book Reference

Tuck,Richard: 'Hobbes: a very short introduction' [OUP 2002], p.28

A Reaction

This is quite a striking disanalogy between accepted personal morality and political morality. There are signs in recent years of some recognition that other nations should not just sit and watch suffering.