PHIL/POLI/PWAD 272.001 – The Ethics of Peace, War, and Defense
Instructor: Philip Bold. This course meets MTWRF 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. via remote instruction.
NOTE: This course will require all students to be capable of using the “Zoom” application for class meetings during the scheduled times — that is, Mon. – Fri. from 11:30am – 1:00pm eastern time. Please email the instructor if you have any questions or concerns.
This course surveys a variety of perspectives on the relationship between war, human nature, and ethics. What does the experience of war tell us (very generally) about human psychology and motivation? How should our understanding of human nature, in turn, influence our ethics – our sense of what we should do as individuals or as societies, especially in the contexts of war, civil strife, and conflict? Is human nature compatible with a peaceful society? – If so, how might we make peace a reality? We will explore these questions, among others, through a selection of readings by Thucydides, Hobbes, Plato, Freud, Nietzsche, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Judith Butler, Homer, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Nancy Sherman, and Jonathan Lear.