Join the SWRDSC for a very exciting and unique opportunity to hear and discuss the considerations of ethics in military operations, featuring a presentation from keynote speaker Professor George Lucas.
Date and Time: 19/04/2023 14:00 – 15:00
Location: Online | Microsoft Teams
About Professor George Lucas
Professor Lucas is “Distinguished Chair in Ethics” Emeritus at the U.S. Naval Academy, and Professor Emeritus of Ethics and Public Policy at the Graduate School of Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He has taught at Georgetown University, Notre Dame University, Emory University, Case-Western Reserve University, Randolph-Macon College, the French Military Academy (Saint-Cyr), and the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, and most recently served as the Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Professor of Ethics at the U.S. Naval War College (Newport RI).
His main areas of interest are applied moral philosophy and military ethics, and he has written on such topics as: irregular and hybrid warfare, cyber conflict, military and professional ethics, and ethical challenges of emerging military technologies. He is also the General Editor of the multi-volume Critical Edition of the Works of Alfred North Whitehead (Edinburgh University Press), a project inspired by his critically-acclaimed early work, The Rehabilitation of Whitehead: An Analytic and Historical Evaluation of Process Philosophy (State University of New York Press, 1989). A past president of the Metaphysical Society of America (2016), he was awarded the Society’s “Paul Weiss Founder’s Medal,” its most prestigious honor, at the Society’s annual meeting at Marquette University in March 2022.
A Summa cum Laude graduate in Physics from the College of William and Mary, he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, and received the Sigma Xi Research Award in 1971 for his work in intermediate energy particle physics, published in The Physical Review (1973). Professor Lucas received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Northwestern University in 1978.
Lucas is the author of nine books, more than seventy peer-reviewed journal articles, translations, and book reviews, and has also edited several book-length collections of articles in philosophy and ethics. Among these titles are Ethics and Cyber Warfare (Oxford University Press, 2017), Military Ethics: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2016), The Routledge Handbook of Military Ethics (Routledge, 2015), Anthropologists in Arms: the Ethics of Military Anthropology (AltaMira Press, 2009), and Perspectives on Humanitarian Military Intervention (University of California Press, 2001). His most recent books are Beyond Clausewitz: The Place of Ethics in Military Strategy (Routledge, 2019), and The Ordering of Time: Meditations on the History of Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press, 2020). His new book Law, Ethics & Emerging Military Technologies was published by Routledge in November 2022.
His new book, ‘Law, Ethics & Emerging Military Technologies’ focuses upon robotics, lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), cyber war, conflict, and security, and the manner in which artificial intelligence adds to the capacity, scope, and dexterity of such systems. While describing decades of fruitless debate over the ethical and legal status of these technologies, especially LAWS, the book places special emphasis throughout on the combat contributions and accompanying ethical concerns of military and civilian engineers working in defence industries charged with the development, deployment and eventual use of these controversial systems. Rather than seeking through legal reform to curtail or restrain their efforts to otherwise improve combat performance and enhance safety of allied defence forces, I advocate an approach known as voluntary ‘soft law’ governance. Those engineers and industries themselves formulate and voluntarily impose morally-sound guidelines and guard rails on their own operations. Such approaches, common in the self-governance of other professions (such as medicine and law) depend upon the shouldering by members of the profession in question of responsibilities for recognizing and seeking to abide by the ideals of best practice and the limits of acceptable practice in their primary activities. Examples of such voluntary guidance are proposed and examined for military and defence weapons engineering.
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