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Australian philosopher, literary critic, and professional writer. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Teaching for first semester - "The ethics of global conflict"

I've just accepted some part-time teaching for first semester this year, starting in a month or so. I'll be taking three tutes in a subject called "The ethics of global conflict". It's a very timely issue to be examining in an undergraduate course, so I'm really looking forward to sinking my teeth into this one.

The course description says: "When, if ever, is warfare justified? What about humanitarian intervention? What about violent revolution and terrorism? Why should civilians be protected in conflict? This unit will introduce students to theoretical approaches to the ethics of conflict that will allow them to answer these difficult questions. It will also serve to introduce students to basic ideas in moral and political philosophy. No background in philosophy is required: merely an interest in rational argument applied to global conflict."

In second semester, I'm planning not to take on any teaching, as I want to spend a lot of time overseas. Where life will lead me after that is entirely unknown, so this may be my last stint of teaching for awhile.

1 comment:

Hazel said...

There is a good chapter on war in Julian Baggini’s Making Sense: Philosophy behind the headlines.

It teases out how (in the run up to Iraq) the rhetoric in politician’s speeches seemed to take inspiration from the notion of ‘Just War’.

It’s very accessible, your undergrads might enjoy - in fact the whole book might coax students who haven’t studied philosophy before into the subject.