The Ethics of Peace, War, and Defense (PHIL 272, POLI 272, PWAD 272)

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Instructor: Megan Mitchell. This course meets Monday – Friday from 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM in Caldwell 105.

Is war ever justified? If so, then when are states justified in going to war? Are there moral limits on the actions of states/individuals in battle? Can they be punished and if so, by whom? What is terrorism? Are terrorist attacks ever morally permissible? How has the advent of WMDs changed the ethical landscape of armed conflict? The goal of this course is to examine these and other questions, both in the abstract and as they apply to particular historical moments. Our aim throughout the semester is not to arrive at a particular answer to these difficult issues, but rather to look at them from a number of different philosophical perspectives, discussing and critiquing popular arguments that deal with application of ethical theory to issues of peace, war and defense.

Megan Mitchell’s webpage