Courses offered as part of the Reilly Center's ETNSI initiative

Robot Ethics (Fall 2013)

Atlas Robot

Robots or “autonomous systems” play an ever-increasing role in many areas, from weapons systems and driverless cars to health care and consumer services. As a result, it is ever more important to ask whether it makes any sense to speak of such systems’ behaving ethically and  how we can build into their programming what some call “ethics modules.” After a brief technical introduction to the field, this course will approach these questions through contemporary philosophical literature on robot ethics and through popular media, including science fiction text and video.
Instructor: Don Howard, Department of Philosophy; Director of the Reilly Center
Click here for the syllabus


Ethics of Emerging Weapons Technology (Spring 2013)

This course explores the ethical challenges posed by the ongoing revolution in the technology of war. After learning about some general, philosophical approaches to ethical decision making, we will examine a wide range of new weapons technologies, from "smart" bombs, drones, and robots to em (electromagnetic) weapons, cyberwar, and bio-enhancement, asking the question whether the existing framework of Just War Theory and the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) are adequate for war as it will be fought in the 21st century.
Instructors: Charles Pence, History and Philosophy of Science Program and Maj. Gen (Ret.) Robert Latiff, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar, Reilly Center
Click here for the syllabus

Emerging Weapons Technologies and the Ethics of Peace and War (Spring 2012)

Robert Latiff weapons ethics class

Students will gain familiarity with the main forms of emerging weapons technologies and reflect on the ethical and legal considerations that bear on whether and how these weapons should be used. Topics to be covered fall into four categories: (1) the nature of emerging technologies (drones, robotic systems, non-lethal weapons, cyberwarfare, bioenhancement, and data mining), (2) prominent positions on the ethics of peace and war (pacifism, political realism, and just war theory), (3) the Law of Armed Conflict (including the Geneva Conventions), and (4) normative ethical theories (consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics).
Instructors: Matthew Lee, Department of Philosophy and Maj. Gen (Ret.) Robert Latiff, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar, Reilly Center
Download the syllabus or See the course website

Ethics of Emerging Weapons Technologies (Spring 2011)

Drone

Instructor:  Don Howard, Department of Philosophy; Director of the Reilly Center
Download the syllabus

Christian Ethics, Technology, and War (Spring 2010)

Instructor:  Deonna Neal, Department of Theology (currently Distinguished Visiting Professor in the William H. Lyon Chair in Professional Ethics, United States Air Force Academy)