Ethics of War and Peace

Ethics of War and Peace

View the Syllabus for the current term here. 

Ethical reasoning and application of ethical theories to moral issues connected to war and peace. Upon completion of this course, the student can:

  • Explain the major ethical views of war, including just war theory, pacifism and total war theory.

  • Define crucial components of a variety of ethical theories, including utilitarianism, deontologism, stoicism, eudaimonism, and feminism.

  • Apply these theories to a wide range of cases and issues in thoughtful written and verbal analysis.

  • Compare and contrast material from combat experiences of military writers based on the nuances of character, situation and narrative.

  • Discuss ethical issues that arise in the context of war and peace and direct a constructive dialogue on some of the following topics: individual and collective responsibility within the chain of command, guilt and war, views of death and the meaning of life, the virtues expected of soldiers, perceptions of the enemy, treatment of prisoners, war crimes and genocide, interrogation and psychological aspects of warfare.


Textbooks available across many platforms such as Amazon, AbeBooks, (google the phrase --  zLibrary -- ) or the school bookstore. Yes, we will be using the books. They contain case studies used during assignments and midterms.

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Each term, I ask my students which lectures they are excited to read and which lectures would rather poke out their eyes than reading. What do you think.....????