Western Cultural and Historical Awareness
(aka War, Peace, Justice and Human Survival)

LBST 2101-H96 and HONR 1701-H96 (Satisfied COGE "L" Goal)

Philosophy of War and Peace
PHIL 3910-H96

3:30-4:45 PM Tue. & Thu; Fretwell 405

Instructor:  Bill Gay
Office Location:  Winningham 103D
Office Hours:  10:30-11:00 AM, 2:30-3:30 PM & 5:00-5:30 PM Tu./Th. & by app’t
Phone, Email, FAX:  (704) 687-2266; wcgay@uncc.edu ; (704) 687-2172
Course Web Site:  http://www.philosophy.uncc.edu/wcgay/wgwpj.html

Required Texts:

Course Evaluation:

Group Projects  (10%)—The class will be divided into four groups, and each will make a presentation to the class and provide material to the class on their topic; each group will also lead discussion on assigned video and related reading they select and work on several in-class exercises

Mid-Term Exam  (35%)—Short essays on questions that require integration of and reflection on information presented in readings and class discussions

Portfolio  (35%)—Representative materials from the course, including required items (such as the Checklist mid-term exam and Reflective Essay) and evidence of an understanding of key concepts, significant relations, and applications and may include selective responses to Orienting Questions  

Attendance  (10%)—After two absences, five points deducted for each class missed

Participation   (10%)—Based on the quantity and quality of involvement in class

Policy Statements:

UNC Charlotte strives to create an academic climate in which the dignity of all individuals is respected and maintained. Therefore, we celebrate diversity that includes, but is not limited to ability/disability, age, culture, ethnicity, gender, language, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.  The UNC Charlotte Diversity Website is http://www.diversity.uncc.edu.

Students have the responsibility to know and observe UNC Charlotte’s “The Code of Student Academic Integrity.”   See  http://www.legal.uncc.edu/policies/ps-105.html

Students with documented disabilities requiring accommodation in this course should contact Disability Services in Fretwell 230. Their website is http://www.ds.uncc.edu/

Course Description (in Catalog for LBST 2101, Honors Section):

All sections of this course explore a major aspect of western culture.  Particular attention is given to an examination of the constructed nature of the present through a close examination of the past and the ways that selected institutions, ideas, or practices change over time and spread in human society, producing both continuity and novelty.  The honors section of this course will focus on the conceptual and historical aspects of violence, terrorism, war, non violence, justice and the economic motivations and results, both intended and unintended, associated with these phenomena.

Course Overview:

In the fall 1988, a humanities-based interdisciplinary honors program was initiated with four core courses based on the theme of "Classical Ideas and Contemporary Values."  As a University Honors course, this course is the current version of one of these courses.  In addition, this course is offered as "Philosophy of Peace" by the Department of Philosophy.  Under each of these listings, this course provides an introduction to and a detailed analysis of issues concerning war, peace, and justice.

Six interrelated questions provide the focus of this course.  The six questions, with which students are expected to grapple throughout the semester, are:
  1. How Do We Define/Think About War?  This broad question includes types of war (conventional, nuclear), patterns of war over time, and the relation of war to violence and aggression.
  2. How Do We Define/Think About Peace?  This general question includes several specific questions:  Is peace more than the absence of war?  Are there different types of peace?  Is peace a meaningful possibility?
  3. What Is The Value Of War/Peace?  This question includes consideration of the purported biological, technological, economic, psychological, social, moral, and political value of war and of peace.
  4. How Does Our Understanding Change When The Issue Of Justice Is Introduced?
  5. How Do Weapons Of Mass Destruction Alter Our Understanding Of War?
  6. What Changes Are Important To Move Away From A Dependence on War?  This question includes consideration of the individual, the nation state, and international/transnational structures and institutions.
This course is interdisciplinary, exploratory, and participatory.  As an instructor I believe that as individuals, especially as citizens in the reigning superpower, each of us should examine and confront the related issues of war, peace, and justice.  Too often the individual approaches these issues quite superficially or avoids their examination as too abstract or futile.  As your instructor, I will attempt to steer you away from these pitfalls by confronting some of the main questions, reflecting on data that documents changing realities and possible consequences of the global war system, and exploring ideas on alternative approaches to peace and justice.  By drawing on the fields of philosophy, sociology, history, and political science the course is interdisciplinary.  By focusing more on the process by which we understand than on the search for a "correct answer," the course is exploratory.  Finally, by emphasizing individual involvement in the examination of these issues, the course is participatory.

Topics and Readings

Dates of Class Topics and Assignments Are Subject to Change
Readings, indicated in parentheses, are from Glossop, Plato, Course Packet, or the Web

01-12    Introduction
    Part I.  Introduction to War, Peace, and Justice

01-14    Definitions of Violence, War, Peace, and Justice  (Garver; Glossop, Ch 1-2)
01-19    Warism  (Cady, Warism)
01-21    Terrorism  (Holmes, web)
    Part II.  The War Problem

01-26    Nuclear Arms Race (Glossop, Ch 10)
01-28    Nuclear Slide Show( Nuclear War)
02-02    Weapons of Mass Destruction  (Gay, web)
02-04    Theory of Probability (Gay, web); Initial Discussion of Porfolios
02-09    Theory of Causality (Gay, web; Glossop, Ch 4, pp. 57-60)
02-11    Conditions Claimed as Causes of War  (Glossop, Ch 4, 5 & 6)
02-16    Presentation by Group #1
02-18    Presentation by Group #2 ; Get Take-Home Exam
02-23    Just War Theory  (Cady, Just War)
02-25    Plato on War and Peace  (Republic; Cornford, 1-40, 144-55, 168-74
             or i. 327 - 354 C, iv. 445 B - 457 B, 466 – 471 C)
             Countrexample, Definitions, Women and War
03-02    Ideology and Nation States  (Glossop, Ch 8, 9);
03-04    Discuss Portfolios; Take-Home Exam Due

    Part III.  Peace or Status Quo?

03-16    Nashville Sit-Ins, video (Ackerman /DuVall); related reading:
             Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail
03-18    Pacifism  (Cady:  Continuum)     
03-23    Presentation by Group #3
03-25    Presentation by Group #4
03-30    Reforming International System  (Glossop, Ch 11 & 16)
             U.N. Structure, U.N. Accomplishments, U.N. Criticisms,
             Confederation, Federation
04-01    Reforming National Governments (Glossop 14 & 15)
04-06    Gandhi’s Salt March, video
             Group #1 leads discussion on video and related reading selected by Group #1
04-08    End of Apartheid in South Africa, video  
             Group #2 leads discussion on video and related reading selected by Group #2
04-13    Plato on Human Nature, the State & the Soul  (Republic; Conford, 41-63, 119-43
             or ii. 357 A - 374 E, iv.  427 C - 445 B)
04-15    Final Discussion of Portfolios
04-20    Denmark's Resistance to Nazi Occupation, video
              Group #3 leads discussion on video and related reading selected by Group #3
04-22    Poland's Solidarity Movement, videa
             Group #4 leads discussion on video and related reading selected by Group #4
04-27    Plato's Allegory of the Cave  (Republic; Cornford, 175-235
             or v. 471 C - vii. 521 B)
             Philosopher King/Queen, Divided Line, Allegory of the Cave,
             Point of the Allegory
04-29    Reforming Attitudes of Individuals (Glossop, Ch 13)

05-04    Conclusion
             Porfolios Due

05-13    Conclusion FINAL DISCUSSION (Thu., May 13, 2:00-4:30 PM)