RSIS Seminar by Professor Asa Kasher, Laura Schwarz-Kipp Professor Emeritus of Professional Ethics and Philosophy of Practice, and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Tel Aviv University
Military Ethics of Fighting Terrorism: Values, Principles and Methods
About the Lecture:
The paper will, first, present the fundamental values that underlie fighting terrorism on grounds on the Just War Doctrine. It will be argued that these values are: (a) The Right and Duty of Self-Defense; and (b) The Duty to Respect Human Dignity. Secondly, several principles that follow from the fundamental values will be presented and shown to play a major role in ethically governing fights against terrorism: (a) Pursuit of Peace; and (b) Minimizing Calamities of War. Thirdly, applications of these values and principles will be presented in the context of targeted killing and other ones. Principles used in Humanitarian International Law, such as the Principle of Distinction and the Principle of Proportionality will be discussed as well. Actual examples will be used, mostly taken from Israel and USA experience.
About the Speaker:
Asa Kasher, PhD, is Laura Schwarz-Kipp Professor Emeritus of Professional Ethics and Philosophy of Practice, and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Tel-Aviv University. He is also Professor of Philosophy, Shalem College, Jerusalem and a Member of the European Academy of Science and Humanities. Dr Kasher has held visiting positions in many universities, including UCLA, Oxford, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Calgary, Ghent and Torino. He has written more than 350 papers and ethics documents as well as several books in various areas of philosophy, including Military Ethics, a book that won the national prize for military literature.
Dr Kasher wrote the first Code of Ethics of the IDF; an IDF document on the Military Ethics of Fighting Terror (written together with Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin now ret.); and an IDF document on Ethics of Disengagement (with Maj. Gen Eyal Ben Reuven now ret.), as well as codes of ethics for major divisions and units of the IDF and additional agencies, organizations and companies. Dr Kasher has worked (with others) on the Code of Ethics of the Knesset, the parliament of Israel, in a committee appointed by the speaker of the Knesset, and (with others) on the Code of Ethics of the Ministers, in a committee appointed by the Prime Minister. He has also served as chair or member of numerous governmental and other public bodies, some by appointments of the Prime Minister, Minister of Defense or Minister of Health, such as the Committee of Minister Security; The National Council of Bioethics; Committee on the Dying Patient. For his contributions to Philosophy, he won the Prize of Israel, the highest national prize, in 2000.
Among his other books are A Small book on the Meaning of Life; Judaism and Idolatry. Editor of Philosophia, Philosophical Quarterly of Israel, published by Springer. He is the Editor of the forthcoming Encyclopedia Hebraica 2nd Edition (online). He also recently edited 4 volumes of Ethics of War and Violence (Routledge), 4 volumes of Pragmatics (language use) (Routledge), and as co-editor: Models of God and other Kinds of Ultimate Reality (Springer).