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Playlist: Warriors and Warfare

Compiled By: Philosophy Talk

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The Military: What Is It Good For?

From Philosophy Talk | 54:00

Is the "citizen soldier" an outmoded concept of a bygone era?

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Is the military draft a natural expression of democratic values, or a challenge to our most basic concepts of individual rights and liberties?  Are the values that make for an effective military consistent with the values that make for a free and democratic republic? If the government must have the power to defend the nation, does it follow that it must have the power to control events around the entire world?  John and Ken enlist themselves in a discussion of the military and its role in public life with Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Kennedy, author of Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945.

The Ethics of Drone Warfare

From Philosophy Talk | 53:59

Are drones the herald of a more sanitized and efficient form of war, or do they represent the dystopian reign of uncaring technologies?

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The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, aka ‘drone,’ is increasingly the weapon of choice in America's military operations. Many laud its ability to maintain our global power while reducing human and financial costs. By the same token, however, this safe and secretive weapon may in turn cause civilians to disengage ever more from the politics of war. What are the responsibilities of civilians in the face of this 'Revolution in Military Affairs'? And how have drones transformed the face of battles for soldiers themselves? John and Ken ask about war in the age of intelligent machines with Bradley Strawser from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, editor of Killing By Remote Control: The Ethics of an Unmanned Military.

War, Sacrifice, and the Media

From Philosophy Talk | 53:59

Does fighting a war require an enemy to demonize?

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The media often present a sanitized and one sided narrative of war, torture and other forms of violence that blots out the faces and silences the voices of many of the main victims: the refugees, the victims of unjust imprisonment and torture, and the immigrants virtually enslaved by their starvation and legal disenfranchisement.  John and Ken probe the limits of the media representations of war and other forms of violence with renowned UC Berkeley professor Judith Butler, author of Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?