PHIL/POLI/PWAD 272.001 – The Ethics of Peace, War, and Defense

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Instructor: Jeff Spinner-Halev. This course meets MW 10:10 – 11:00 a.m. via synchronous remote instruction, with a required recitation.

This section is scheduled and controlled by the Political Science Department. The recitation schedule is available in ConnectCarolina. Please direct all questions to Prof. Spinner-Halev or to the Political Science Undergraduate Coordinator.

In this course we will explore and evaluate a number of important concepts in the ethics of peace, war, and defense. Representative subjects include the justification of defensive, pre-emptive and preventive wars; humanitarian intervention; the combatant/noncombatant distinction; the moral equality of soldiers; the distinction between direct and “collateral” harm to civilians; sieges, blockades and economic sanctions; guerilla warfare; terrorism and reprisals; supreme emergency and torture; drones. We will look at what makes a war just or unjust; what it means to conduct a war in a just manner; and the challenges of ensuring justice after war. While we will do considerable reading in the course, we will also watch several films.