Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

McMahan lecture tomorrow at LSE

We are delighted to announce this year's Auguste Comte Memorial Lecture by Professor Jeff McMahan (Oxford)

Wednesday 11 March, 6:30-8 pm.
Liability, Proportionality and the Number of Aggressors
Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
All are welcome; no tickets required.

Jeff McMahan is White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford and the author of The Ethics of Killing: problems at the margins of life and Killing in War.
Further info on:

With best wishes,
Alex Voorhoeve

Want to do a PhD in Military ethics in Australia?

PhD Scholarship in Military Ethics at the University of New South Wales.

UNSW Canberra – located at the Australian Defence Force Academy - is
offering a 3-year PhD Scholarship for a project on “What Motivates
Enlistment and Why it Matters, Morally and Politically”.

Traditionally the military has been thought of as an institution, not unlike
the Church, whose members answer a “higher calling” to sacrifice their
interests, ambitions, and if need be their lives for the sake of a greater
good. But according to some historians and sociologists the military now
resembles an occupation, governed by market principles, where workers
exchange their labour for material reward. Careerism, a fixation on building
a resume for post-military employment, and an ever greater reliance on
extrinsic incentives are the hallmarks of what George Moskos calls the
“occupational shift” in the modern military.

What are the ethical and political implications of the occupational shift?
If soldiers are employees, should familiar employee rights and labour
standards apply to them? Does the occupational shift threaten to obliterate
the moral distinction between national armed forces personnel and
mercenaries? Are “employee warriors” more or less likely to conduct
themselves in accordance with the principles of Just War Theory? Are they
more or less likely to show organizational commitment and loyalty? UNSW
Canberra is offering a PhD Scholarship to a suitably qualified candidate
interested in pursuing these and related questions.

The successful applicant, subject to admission to the UNSW Canberra PhD
program, will be awarded a Research Training Scholarship with an annual
tax-free stipend of AUD$26,392. This scholarship is for a period of 3 years,
subject to satisfactory progress reviews along the way. Applicants should
hold a Masters degree or an undergraduate qualification with first class
honours, preferably in ethics/philosophy, politics, or a cognate discipline.

For further information please contact:

Ned Dobos
Phone: +61 2 6268 6273

Military ethics conference at West Point

Details here

Conference in Cambridge

War & Strife in Ancient Philosophy (being the fifth meeting 2015 Graduate Conference in Ancient

Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge, 27th-28th March 2015.

Keynote Talks:

Lesley Brown (Oxford) ‘Philosophy as warfare? Plato’s Gigantomachia and other battles’

Angie Hobbs (Sheffield) 'The End of War? Heraclitus' Challenge and Plato's Response.'

Graduate Talks:

Jordan Corwin (University of Notre Dame) 'Strife and Justice from Hesiod to Parmenides'

Vincent Peluce (Central European University) 'Logos, Strife and Opposites in Heraclitus' Fragments'

Silvio Marino (University of Naples Federico II) 'Anomalia and Anomoiotes: Strife as Logical Principle
in Plato and Hippocratic Authors'

Pierre Ponchon (University of Tours) 'War as Principle? Plato against Thucydides and Heraclitus'

Grant Dowling (Columbia University) 'The City of Pigs as an Alternative Model of Justice in the

Romeo Domdii Cliff (KU Leuven) 'War and Virtue in the Critias'

The conference programme, and details on how to register, might be found here:

For any queries, please email Michael Withey at

New paper by Charles H. Pence on military ethics

Here Pence argues that the military's use of genomics must be guided by an understanding of the connection between genotype and phenotype. However this is something too challenging to do.