Phil 122: Social Justice -- the Ethics of War
Time: MW 1:30-2:45
War and philosophy seem to be worlds apart: one is premised on violence, the other on reason and calm reflection. Yet, over the centuries philosophers have wrestled with the morality of war, and today, more than ever before, philosophers are debating the hard ethical questions that armed conflict can pose. Exciting and politically up-to-date, much of this recent work involves deep and important issues in moral theory.
This semester Philosophy 122 will focus on justice and war. After examining the realist view that morality does not apply to war and the pacifist rejection of all war, we will look in detail at con-temporary debates in just war theory, which holds that war can be just if it satisfies certain condi-tions and if it is fought subject to certain moral restrictions. More specifically, we will discuss such topics as individual and national self-defense, preemptive and preventive wars, humanitarian interventions, the moral status of combatants, the rules of war, collateral damage and the principle of non-combatant immunity, guerrilla warfare and terrorism, the punishment of war crimes, the principle of command responsibility, and loyalty and other military virtues.