Journal of Military Ethics 3 (3):199-215 (2004)

Joseph Miller
Illinois Institute of Technology
It is hard to overstate the importance that the military places on teaching its soldiers to be leaders of character. Indeed, the military has developed a sophisticated Aristotelian understanding of what it means to be a leader of character, an understanding in which the virtues of a soldier are defined by the practice of fighting wars successfully. Putting that theoretical model to work?that is, developing soldiers who possess the right virtues?requires Socratic dialogue between instructors and students. Unfortunately, the theory of Socratic dialogue often clashes with the practice of military institutions as trainers of soldiers. The belief that one must train soldiers to be virtuous can and often does result in an atmosphere in which instructors present the dictates of morality as revealed truth, an atmosphere which leads to knee-jerk moral certainty and which actively discourages open discussion of ethics. Putting theory into practice, then, requires that an institution reject the training mentality in favor of Socratic inquiry. The author suggests two strategies for achieving that goal: giving philosophers a greater role in designing ethics curriculum and incorporating civilian academics into military institutions more effectively
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DOI 10.1080/15027570410006219
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References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Utilitarianism: For and Against.J. J. C. Smart & Bernard Williams - 1973 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Ethics of Information Warfare.Luciano Floridi & Mariarosaria Taddeo (eds.) - 2014 - Springer International Publishing.

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