War involves widespread killing and maiming. For this reason it is of utmost importance to understand the morality that governs the conduct for, and in, war. Besides its practical importance war also raises many philosophical interesting issues. In this course we will explore some prominent aspects of war theory. We will explore questions such as when is it permissible to start war?, what duties do combatants have while warring?, are the principles that govern war the same principles that govern peace? If not, what explains this asymmetry?
At the end of the course the student shall be able to:
- Understand the key positions within contemporary debates in just war theory.
- Produce critical and well-structured arguments in moral philosophy.
- Balance and contrast the weakness and strengths of different positions in contemporary debates in just war theory.
- Summarise arguments clearly and succinctly.
- All students must read the core reading before the lectures and seminars.
- Attendance is compulsory. You need at least 90% of attendance to get a grade.
- There will be a mid-term assignment, and a final 3000 words paper. The paper’s title must be pre-approved, so consult me once you have an idea what you want to write about.
Grades will be awarded as follows:
- Mid-term assignment: 20%, participation 15%, presentation 15%, final paper 50%.
- Essays are due on the date they are due! Extensions will be granted only in special circumstances. Organise your time!
- Academic dishonesty will be severely penalised. Don’t plagiarise!!