Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

Events

Jeffrey Tiel

Assistant Professor of Philosophy,
Ashland University

Ashbrook Colloquium

Topic: The Ethics of Espionage

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Listen (Length: 1:08:32)

Summary: Professional soldiers and academics have spent considerable effort trying to conclude when it is permissible to set aside the usual moral prohibition against killing in order to achieve the goals set before them. What has received much less attention, however, is when it is appropriate to set aside other moral considerations such as the prohibitions against deception, theft, and blackmail. This makes some sense, since if it is moral to kill someone, whether or not it is appropriate to deceive him seems to be trivial in comparison. But members of the intelligence community, both military and non-military, must determine for times of peace as well as war when it is appropriate to set aside the usual prohibitions in order to achieve national objectives.

For this Colloquium, Dr. Tiel will be presenting a paper, co-written with Major Tony Pfaff. The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for military and non-military intelligence professionals for answering and discussing these questions. By applying insights from Kantian and Lockean ethics, the authors seek to describe an ethics of the intelligence profession that permits a combination of ethical restraint and intelligence effectiveness.

Dr. Jeffrey Tiel is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ashland University in Ashland, OH, where he also serves as the Director of the Academic Honors Program. He received his BA at the University of Scranton, his MA and PhD from Vanderbilt University, and he has been the recipient of the Salvatori Fellowship as well as numerous other awards and honors. He has held appointments as an assistant professor in philosophy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and an assistant professor in philosophy at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY prior to his current position. He has published and presented numerous articles and papers related to military ethical themes including the ethics of biological warfare, the neutrality of states in an age of terrorwar, and journalism in psychological warfare.

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