#MEF Moral and Ethical Failure – Defining Terms 2/x

After putting together the course and getting students to enroll (discussed in last week’s post), the first order of business was to set up some definitional structure to bring some semblance of order to our discussions. David Hume famously notes that morality provides a common language for us to discuss, make sense of and assignContinue reading “#MEF Moral and Ethical Failure – Defining Terms 2/x”

#MEF Moral and Ethical Failure: Origin Story 1/?

(Since this is a blog, I am more interested in getting material out and less with editing. If that bothers you, please apply mind altering substances before continuing.) It started, as things do, on Twitter. I was musing about the fact that we do not teach the Fat Leonard scandal. As a military ethicist, thisContinue reading “#MEF Moral and Ethical Failure: Origin Story 1/?”

Reading Ethics: Professional Development

Ethical Development Reading List DRAFT Aim of this list –               First, organization of the list according to rank/training and is very much a work in progress.             Second, the idea is not that you would read everything at each level, rather that you might select a couple things that interest you.             Third,Continue reading “Reading Ethics: Professional Development”

Teaching Ethics in Silence

The highlighted quotes are from my former colleague, Dr. Sergia Hay (Kierkegaard scholar, teacher of ethics, discerner of vocation, and lovely human being that I had the honor to mentor for several years as Philosophy Department Chair) in her new book, Ethical Silence: Kierkegaard, Communication, Education and Humility (Lexington Books, 2020.) As we say onContinue reading “Teaching Ethics in Silence”

Supreme Political Emergency: A #CivMil Hypothetical

The views expressed here are those of the author alone. And its a crazy hypothetical that analytic philosophers love. So there is that. In his seminal Just and Unjust Wars, Michael Walzer proposes the “Supreme Emergency” argument wherein a nation or other political community suspends its observance of the War Convention (the rules of war/jusContinue reading “Supreme Political Emergency: A #CivMil Hypothetical”

Help for the Confused: Resources for Challenging Conversations

I “If you can’t handle the tough conversations, you can’t handle the tough decisions.” Greetings friends and leaders! I am not sure about you, but the last week or so has been quite taxing and stressful in my house. Many of you have expressed interest in having some tools for conversation, so I am including someContinue reading “Help for the Confused: Resources for Challenging Conversations”

Gladiators: New Metaphors and Old Problems

For years there has been an on and off debate of the value of the term ‘warrior’ in the US military (see https://shankskaurin.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/warrior-citizen-solider-or-guardian-thoughts-after-a-kerfuffle/), but recently the image of the gladiator has become more popular. For a recent example, see the following social media post https://twitter.com/USNavyEurope/status/1230465905177563136  and the discussion of the trend by @cdrsalamander on hisContinue reading “Gladiators: New Metaphors and Old Problems”

Disgraceful Pardons: Dishonoring Our Honorable

This post is co-authored with my ethics colleague at NPS, Dr. Bradley J. Strawser. It is based on a potential op-ed we authored in May 2019.  Disgraceful Pardons: Dishonoring Our Honorable Six months ago, there were reports that President Trump was planning to pardon several military members who are charged with war crimes and othersContinue reading “Disgraceful Pardons: Dishonoring Our Honorable”

Moral Injury in War: Is Prevention Possible?

In prior posts, I have considered various popular conceptions of moral character, and given a thumbnail sketch of character as narrative that I think will serve us better than other views of character. Now we are in a position to ask: what might these understandings of character mean for the phenomenon of moral injury, especiallyContinue reading “Moral Injury in War: Is Prevention Possible?”