Military Ethics, the Military Profession, and International Law (PHIL 336/436) - Spring 2020

MA-ME Guest Visitors

One of the great advantages of this course is the opportunity for dynamism in learning. While a syllabus was set at the beginning of the semester, in teaching this course I have been able to introduce elements of experience and research interest to augment the class in a way that adds value to the student experience.

To this end, we have been fortunate to integrate conversations with practitioners and leading academics in the field of military ethics. This has helped demonstrate the value, challenges, and successes of Professional Military Education (PME) in Ethics and its practical value. The class was able to discuss the operational benefits of ethics with Lt-Colonel Peter Brunton (Officer Commanding, 16 Signal Regiment, British Army). Broader perspectives on ethics and the profession of arms were offered by Lt-General Christopher Miller (USAF, rtd.) and Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben (USN, rtd). Prof. David Whetham (King’s College London) introduced the class to the subject from a practitioner facing academic perspective, which was then capped off by Prof. Pauline Shanks-Kaurin (US Naval War College), who shared her experiences and perspectives as the current Stockdale Chair in Ethics. These presented rare opportunities for students to ask questions of those with direct experience of warfare, deployment, and preparing those who face them. 

Because of the flexible nature of the class, live analysis could also be integrated. Events that occurred during or just prior to the class could be focused on and used as a dynamic teaching aid. Being able to deconstruct, with developing information, a situation that has direct bearing on the class is invaluable experience. Being able to ask hard questions of experts, and knowing how to ask those questions, is one of the key learning outcomes we seek and the opportunities to speak to open, friendly experts in an informal setting created opportunity for students to practice, refine, and hone those skills. 

Dr. Jonathan Flint

Inamori Emerging Visiting Scholar 2020

Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence