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Philosophy Workshop: Ethics in the Field — A Combat Perspective

July 16, 2023 @ 9:30 am - 12:30 pm MDT

Workshop Details

**NOTE:  This workshop was originally scheduled for Sun. June 25th.  Due to an unexpected surgery, our guest speaker needed to reschedule to its new date of Sun. July 16th.**

In this workshop led by philosopher and U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel & General Inspector of the Montana National Guard Charles Phillips we’ll explore just war theory, rules of engagement, and ethical dilemmas faced in combat. This gathering will involve indoor & outdoor time w/ hands-on activities, discussion, and plenty of time for Q & A.

We’ll begin with an overview of just war theory accompanied by stories of deployment (including discussion about rules of engagement and escalation of force restrictions).  Then we’ll look at three combat scenarios (experienced/faced by our guest speaker during his deployment in Iraq).  In the process, we’ll explore what kinds of ethical considerations come into play and how, based on these, one might respond.  We’ll finish our workshop by returning to just war theory and reflecting on its importance for our military (as well as the challenges involved with deliberating best courses of action).  

Ethics in the Field: A Combat Perspective

w/ Philosopher and U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel & Inspector General for the Montana National Guard Charles Phillips

When & Where

This workshop led by philosopher and U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel & General Inspector of the Montana National Guard Charles Phillips and will take place in Reeder’s Alley (in the Conference Center & Caretaker’s Lawn) on Sunday, July 16th. No prior background in philosophy is required to participate.

Workshop Details

Date: Sunday, July 16th 
Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm MT
Where: Reeder’s Alley (Conference Center & Caretaker’s Lawn)

Registration Info

RSVP: Sign up here!
Cost: Free (Donations Welcome)
Other: Light snacks provided

Workshop Leader

U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Charles Phillips serves as the Inspector General for the Montana National Guard.  He has an MA in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania (2014) and taught Philosophy at West Point from 2014 to 2017.
Early in Charles’ career, as a First Lieutenant, he served a 15 month Combat Deployment to Baghdad, Iraq from 2007-2008 as part of “The Surge” where he led 35 Soldiers on daily patrols in the Al-Rasheed district. He also served in a deployment to Afghanistan from 2011-2012.
His philosophical interests and areas of speciality center around Just War Theory and Ethical Decision Making.


Make a Donation Here

Our philosophy workshops and other activities are FREE to the community.  While donations are never expected, they are always appreciated and help to keep programs like these going. Donations help to cover workshop leader honorariums, implementation, and resource archiving, and more!   If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution you can do so by clicking here or on the button above.  For those facing more challenging financial circumstances, we ask that you please try to “pay it forward” with acts of kindness for your neighbors and community. 


Reeder’s Alley Interpretive & Convention Center
101 Reeder's Alley
Helena, MT 59601 United States
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Marisa Diaz-Waian
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