What role do lying and deception play in achieving strategic objectives? Jeff, Lise and Brian discuss that and other questions as raised by Sophocles in Philoktetes, in which a soldier (Philoktetes) is recovered from an island where he was left after being wounded. His significance arises from his possession is the famed bow of Heracles, which the characters Odysseus and Neoptolemus believe is necessary to win the Trojan war.
Jeff, Lise, and Brian are joined by the distinguished Dylan Casey and Wes Alwan for this crossover episode with the Partially Examined Life. They discuss the First Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, in which Rousseau argues that the arts and sciences tend to lead to “moral corruption”. What is “moral corruption”? What does it mean for a human being to be “whole”? How can a society be structured to allow individual humans to achieve wholeness? What role do the arts and sciences play in that endeavor? Join the group for a lively discussion of those questions and more!
In this episode, Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss “The Student,” a (very) short story by Anton Chekhov. The central character is Ivan, a student, or disciple, whose depression is transformed into elation during the course of his conversation with a peasant mother and daughter about the suffering of Peter as he realizes his betrayal of Jesus.
Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss another work by Joseph Conrad, a rip-roaring, seafaring tale! In his novella Typhoon, Conrad tells the story of Captain McWhirr, his crew, and his ship’s brawling passengers as they sail through a typhoon. The work raises questions about leadership in the face of human conflict and natural disasters.
In this episode, Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss Joseph Conrad’s short story “The Secret Sharer,” which features a psychological drama between an young, unnamed captain who is uncertain of his ability to lead his ship and a mysterious man named Leggatt who swims up to the side of the ship, naked and adrift.
How do military leaders relate to the civilians they protect? In this episode, Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss that and other questions raised by this Shakespearean tragedy. The story of Coriolanus, a Roman general, starts with a heroic victory for Rome, but ends with exile, defection to the enemy, and ultimately death.
Join Lise, Jeff and Brian for another Platonic dialogue! Socrates and Alcibiades reappear at a party attended by several characters who decide to take turns praising Eros, who is often referred to in English as the “god of love.” As the dialogue progresses, we learn there is much more to love, or rather to “eros,” than sexual desire, and the characters’ conversation moves on to numerous other topics, including politics, law, and philosophy.
Let’s do some more Plato! Alcibiades is one of the most famous figures in military history. An incredibly successful Athenian general who fled to Athens’ enemy Sparta after being charged with with sacrilege. He and Socrates had a very “complicated” relationship. This particular dialogue raises questions about the nature of justice and who is worthy to lead.
Join us for a discussion with Martin L. Cook, Distinguished Visiting Professor at United States Air Force Academy. Prior to that, Professor Cook was Admiral James B. Stockdale Professor of Professional Military Ethics at the College of Operational and Strategic Leadership at the U.S. Naval War College. He is also co-editor of The Journal of Military Ethics.
Cook was previously a professor of philosophy and deputy department head at the Philosophy Department of the U.S. Air Force Academy from 2004 to 2009. He was also a professor of ethics at the U.S. Army War College from 1998 to 2003 and the Elihu Root Chair of Military Studies in 2000.
In addition, Cook was assistant professor from 1982 to 1988 and associate professor from 1988 to 1998 at the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Santa Clara. He has also been an adjunct professor at Dickinson College and Fuller Theological Seminary in the Bay Area; visiting professor at the College of William and Mary; and a teaching assistant at The University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
Cook serves on the editorial boards of Parameters, the scholarly journal of the Army War College, and The Journal of Military Ethics. He is the author of The Moral Warrior: Ethics and Service in the U.S. Military and Issues in Military Ethics: To Support and Defend the Constitution and numerous scholarly articles and book reviews.