Leading Moral Philosopher to Present Hourani Lectures at UB

Ethics of killing in war will be discussed in six public talks

Release Date: October 26, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Jefferson McMahan, one of America's leading moral philosophers, will deliver the 2006 George F. Hourani Lectures in Moral Philosophy presented by the Department of Philosophy at the University at Buffalo.

In his groundbreaking and widely-acclaimed 2003 book, "The Ethics of Killing" (Oxford University Press), McMahan presented the first comprehensive study of the ethics of killing where the moral status of the individual killed is uncertain. It is a subject about which he has written and lectured extensively and that has earned him a reputation as one of the most courageous of moral philosophers.

In the Hourani series, he will present six lectures between Nov. 2 and 17 addressing topics related to individual and collective responsibility for war, political philosophy and normative ethics.

All lectures will take place at 4 p.m. at the Center for Tomorrow on the UB (Amherst) North Campus. They will be free and open to the public.

On Nov. 2, the title of McMahan's talk will be "The Just War." On Nov. 3, he will address "Individual and Collective Morality."

His subject on Nov. 9 will be "Just Cause for War" and on Nov. 10, "Preventive War and Individual Liability."

The following week, he will speak to "The Consequences of War" on Nov. 16 and "Terrorism and the Significance of Intention" on Nov. 17.

McMahan has four books awaiting publication: "The Ethics of Killing: Self-Defense, War and Punishment" (Oxford University Press), "The Ethics of Killing in War: The 2006 Oxford Uehiro Lectures" (Oxford: Clarendon Press), "War and Morality" (Oxford University Press, series edited by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong), and "Ethics and Humanity: Themes from the Writings of Jonathan Glover" (New York: Oxford University Press).

George Fadlo Hourani was SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Islamic Culture and

Thought at UB from 1967 until his death in 1984. He was internationally recognized for his work in moral philosophy and a key figure in the development of professional organizations in his field and in the establishment of Islamic studies in this country. Hourani was internationally recognized for his outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of moral philosophy and deeply respected and loved by his colleagues and students.

He was the author of several highly acclaimed books in his field, the most important of which is "Islamic Rationalism: The Ethics of Abd al-Jabbar," a leading theologian of the Mu'tazilite Islamic school and author of a comprehensive compendium of speculative Islamic theology addressing God's goodness and justice.

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