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Philosophy & Religion | McDowell Conference

12th Annual McDowell Conference
Fall 2002 Program


Friday, November 15, 2002
Boardroom, Butler Pavilion, 6th floor
1:00 pm to 6:00 pm


1:00 pm - 3:15 pm Session I:

Opening Remarks: “Are We at Peace or at War?”
Jeffrey Reiman, William Fraser McDowell Professor of Philosophy, American University

“International Peril, Domestic Politics and Civil Liberty”
Herman Schwartz, Professor, Washington College of Law, American University

“September 11th: Prelude to the Clash of Civilizations or a Dialogue of Civilizations?”
Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies in the
School of Internationl Service, American University

3:15 pm - 3:45 pm Coffee and Donuts

3:45 pm - 6:00 pm Session II:

“The Ethics of Retaliation”
Judith Lichtenberg, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Maryland

“Challenging Just War”
Bat-Ami Bar On, Professor of Philosophy, Binghamton University

“The Politics of Moral Certainty”
Joel Rosenthal, President, Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.


Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies and Professor of International Relations at American University. Professor Ahmed is the author of many books on contemporary Islam, including Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society, which was the basis of the BBC six-part TV series called Living Islam. His Postmodernism and Islam: Predicament and Promise was nominated for the Amalfi Award, and his book Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World was rated among the best nonfiction of the year by the Los Angeles Times. His "Jinnah Quartet," a four-part project on Pakistan's founding father, M.A. Jinnah, has won numerous international awards. Dr. Ahmed is the recipient of the prestigious Pakistani Star of Excellence, and the Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal given by the Royal Society of Asian Affairs in London. Recently he has been appointed Trustee of the World Faiths Development Dialogue by the Archbishop of Canterbury and has been the recipient of the 2002 Free Speech Award given by the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Washington, DC.

Bat-Ami Bar On, Professor of Philosophy at Binghamton University, is the author of The Subject of Violence: Arendtean Exercises in Understanding (Rowman & Littlefield, 2002), the co-editor (with Lisa Tessman) of Jewish Locations: Traversing Racialized Landscapes (Rowman & Littelfield, 2001), and (with Ann Ferguson) of Daring to be Good: Essays in Feminist Ethico-Politics (Routledge, 1998). She also edited Women and Violence: a special issue of Hypatia (Fall 1996), Engendering Origins: Critical Feminist Readings of Plato and Aristotle, and Modern Engenderings: Critical Feminist Readings in the History of Modern Western Philosophy (both, SUNY Albany, 1994). Her recent work on war and terrorism has been published in the British Philosopher's Magazine and the Swedish ORD&BILD.

Judith Lichtenberg is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland, where she is also Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy. She has written articles on international ethics, media ethics, and other topics in moral and political philosophy, and is the editor of Democracy and the Mass Media. Her book Getting a Leg Up: College Admissions and Social Justice (co-authored with Robert Fullinwider) is forthcoming in 2003. She directs the Committee on Politics, Philosophy, and Public Policy, an interdisciplinary graduate program at the University of Maryland.

Jeffrey Reiman is the William Fraser McDowell Professor of Philosophy at American University. He is the author of In Defense of Political Philosophy (Harper & Row, 1972), Justice and Modern Moral Philosophy (Yale, 1990), Critical Moral Liberalism: Theory and Practice (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997), The Death Penalty: For and Against (with Louis Pojman) (Rowman & Littlefield, 1998), Abortion and the Ways We Value Human Life (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999), The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison: Ideology, Class, and Criminal Justice, 6th ed. (Allyn & Bacon, 2001), and more than fifty articles in philosophy and criminal justice journals and anthologies.

Joel H. Rosenthal is President of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs (NY). Founded in 1914 by Andrew Carnegie, the Council today initiates research, publication, and educational programs for expert and general audiences worldwide. Dr. Rosenthal is editor of the journal Ethics and International Affairs, as well as the book Ethics & International Affairs: A Reader (Georgetown University Press, 1999, 2nd ed.). He is also the author of Righteous Realists (1991) and numerous articles related to ethics and American foreign policy.

Herman Schwartz, Professor of Law at American University’s Washington College of Law, has worked for human rights in the United States and abroad for more than four decades. He is currently advising numerous former Soviet bloc countries on constitutional and human rights reform. During 1994 and 1995, he was a member of the U.S. Delegation to the 50th and 51st Sessions of the UN Human Rights Commission, and in June, 1993, he was one of four public members of the U.S. Delegation to the UN World Human Rights Conference in Vienna. In 1987, Professor Schwartz organized and chaired a Human Rights Watch Committee project on prisons throughout the world. He is a Co-Director of the Washington College of Law Human Rights Center, and a member of the boards of the Foundation for a Civil Society, Helsinki Watch, and other domestic and foreign public interest organizations.