Over the past few weeks the Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies Department has been fortunate in attracting a number of interesting speakers to give talks to students who are interested in ethical issues.
In December a serving member of the British army gave a talk about the ethics of warfare. His recent experiences on the ground in different theatres of war, combined with a review of how ethics are addressed via rules of engagement, were explored.
In January Monsignor Philip Holroyd, once Vice Rector of the English College in Rome gave a talk on conscience – what is it and how does it work. His presentation explored the different religious and secular views of conscience.
In February Angela Hobbs, Professor of Public Understanding of Philosophy from Sheffield University and a well known media commentator, gave a talk at the end of the College day to students and staff on the topic of Ethics and Money. Professor Hobbs’ main thesis was that philosophers have a role in assessing the place of money in our society, especially in the light of the banking crisis of 2008. Professor Hobbs believes we have to recognise that desires expressed in monetary terms are not always necessary for our happiness. Money, she said was a means to something else not an end in itself. At the end of the talk Professor Hobbs took a number of challenging questions about the role of money in our society, such as the profit motive, the relative wealth of the Western countries and the gap between rich and poor.
All these talks were well attended and received by students who impressed all the speakers with their commitment and interest.
Notre Dame continues to provide a wide and varied programme of speaker for its students.