U.S. Naval War College
Stanford University
  •  92
    A religion with Buddhism's particular moral philosophies of non-violence and asceticism and with its *functional* polytheism in practice should not generate genocidal nationalist violence. Yet, there are resources within the Buddhist canon that people can draw from to justify violence in defense of the religion and of a Buddhist-based polity. When those resources are exploited, for example in the context of particular Theravāda Buddhist practices and the history of Buddhism and Buddhist identity…Read more
  •  142
    *North American Society for Social Philosophy (NASSP) Book Award 2019.* *International Studies Association (ISA) - International Ethics Section Book Award 2021.* Although military mores have relied primarily on just war theory, the ethic of cooperation in warfare (ECW)—between enemies even as they are trying to kill each other—is as central to the practice of warfare and to conceptualization of its morality. Neither game theory nor unilateral moral duties (God-given or otherwise) can explain th…Read more
  •  264
    Kurdistan: The Taiwan of the Middle East?
    Society 55 (4): 344-348. 2018.
    Taiwan and Kurdistan appear to have little in common, but the progressive values of these two societies embedded within hostile regions make them both natural allies and important strategic assets in the U.S.’s and international community’s long-term fight against authoritarianism and radical religious theocracies. Instead, they have been ignored and/or exploited in the pursuit of short-term geopolitical and economic interests in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions, which comes at great cos…Read more
  •  56
    Introduction: Confucian Perfectionism's Wary Embrace of Democracy
    Philosophy East and West 67 (1): 1-2. 2017.
    With the stunning spread of democracy over large swathes of the globe since 1975 seemingly coming to a halt and perhaps receding in recent years, we revisit the question of whether democracy is really compatible with all types of cultures and philosophies, particularly those from Asia, where nearly two-thirds of the world’s population lives. Joseph Chan’s *Confucian Perfectionism: A Political Philosophy for Modern Times* (Princeton University Press, 2014) reconstructs Confucianism in order to me…Read more
  •  214
    Although there is no more iconic, stalwart, and eloquent defender of liberty and representative democracy than J.S. Mill, he sometimes endorses non-democratic forms of governance. This article explains the reasons behind this seeming aberration and shows that Mill actually has complex and nuanced views of the transition from non-democratic to democratic government, including the comprehensive and parallel material, cultural, institutional, and character reforms that must occur, and the mechanis…Read more
  •  227
    The presence and absence of autonomy in Joseph Chan’s democratic Confucianism loom large, but not always in the ways that he maintains. Although Chan claims that his reconstruction of Confucianism for modern democracy can accept some forms of moral autonomy, what he presents does not constitute genuine moral autonomy, and the absence of that autonomy sits in tension with some other aspects of his model. When it comes to personal autonomy, it is the opposite: Chan says that the exercise of perso…Read more
  •  360
    Liberal Lustration
    Journal of Political Philosophy 19 (4): 440-464. 2011.
    After a regime-changing war, a state often engages in lustration—condemnation and punishment of dangerous, corrupt, or culpable remnants of the previous system—e.g., de-Nazification or the more recent de-Ba’athification in Iraq. This common practice poses an important moral dilemma for liberals because even thoughtful and nuanced lustration involves condemning groups of people, instead of treating each case individually. It also raises important questions about collective agency, group treatme…Read more
  •  1539
    Uniform Exceptions and Rights Violations
    Social Theory and Practice 36 (1): 44-77. 2010.
    Non-uniformed combat morally infringes on civilians’ fundamental right to immunity and exacts an impermissible form of unofficial conscription that is morally prohibited even if the civilians knowingly consent to it. It is often argued that revolutionary groups burdened by resource disparities relative to the state or who claim alternative sources of political legitimacy (such as national self-determination or the constitution of a political collective) are justified in using unconventional tac…Read more