Assistant Professor of Applied Ethics
He works in the fields of restorative and transitional justice, which he understands as emerging through the intersection of social-political philosophy, critical race theory, ethics, and conflict resolution. He has taught a range of courses related to this work, and his publications have appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as the International Journal of Transitional Justice, Critical Philosophy of Race, and Philosophy and Social Criticism. Along with several forthcoming articles, George is working on a book entitled Justice as Reconciliation: Political Theory in a World of Difference.
In this course we will explore communal modes of life through a theoretical and practical lens. We will engage several communitarian theorists and we will also study some of the recent pragmatic work that has been done to reclaim common space, common practices, and community as such.
Hampshire and Five College students will often take on positions of leadership in companies and organizations, on campus and beyond, usually with little practice or training. People often think of leadership as individualistic and autocratic, requiring outgoing personality. But there are many styles of leadership, and effective leadership is usually collaborative. In this class students will learn and practice ethical and non-hierarchical leadership strategies. Students will explore their own values around leadership, and tap into their own personal leadership qualities. We will work on what makes high-functioning teams and partnerships, and how to identify and work with stakeholders, leadership in community context. We will practice principled, as opposed to confrontational, negotiation skills. The class will study ethics and responsibilities of leadership. The class will provide both theory and practical application.
In this course we will explore the general field of discourse ethics and the strategies of communicative action. Our goal is to problematize the norms that inform our ordinary and unreflective modes of interaction, and to reflect on how we can transform our relational modes in a way that affords greater reciprocity.
In this course we will explore the problems of fairness and exploitation in capitalist labor practices. We will orient our readings and discussions around the basic question: Is work necessary?
In this course we will first analyze traditional philosophical perspectives on punishment along side critical genealogical descriptions of how it is that certain penal mechanisms emerged and determined our present-namely, the prison industrial complex and the militarization of police forces. We will then take up the abolitionist question and reflect on how things could be otherwise. That is, we will spend a great deal of time in this class discussing restorative or community approaches to issues of justice as a viable alternative to those methods currently being deployed.
In this course, we will analyze several key texts in liberation thought. The question motivating these readings: What does our liberation require? Our primary text will be Enrique Dussel's recently translated Ethics of Liberation, which we will carefully read in its entirety. As we read Dussel, we will supplement the text with those figures he engages and references, such that we can cultivate a robust understanding of both Dussel and the discourses he is engaging. Some of the figures that we will engage through or in contrast to Dussel include (but are not limited to): Emmanuel Levinas, Edward Said, Frantz Fanon, Kwame Ture, Bell Hooks, Lu Xun, James Cone, Gustavo Gutierrez, Hamid Dabashi, Antonio Gramsci, Angela Davis, Paolo Freire, and many more.
In this course we will focus on advanced topics in the global justice debate: war, human rights, and the demands of peace. We will begin with a survey of mainstream approaches to global justice, ranging from Kant's "Perpetual Peace," to Rawls's Law of Peoples, and various cosmopolitan approaches. We will then move to a discussion of the realities of war, colonialism, and human rights. Here, we will engage the geneva conventions and its additional protocols in relation to contemporary case studies and non-ideal philosophical approaches to issues of justice and war. The second half of the class will focus on contemporary issues in transitional justice, emphasizing the goals and practices of reconciliation, and clarifying what these activities imply for mainstream approaches to global politics.
In this class, we will explore the field of ethics from the starting point of a primordial tension: the experience of being both an individual and a member of a relational environment. This starting point places our exploration in stark contrast to classical approaches to ethics, which focus on the consequences of individual actions, universal rules, and individual habits. Instead, we will discuss ethics in terms of interpersonal relations and we will focus on how we can work on our relations in order to transform ourselves and thus our circumstances. Hence, in this exploration it will become clear that acting ethically is far more complicated than commonly assumed, but also an absolutely necessary practice for the proper functioning of a democratic society and thus for the fostering of a healthy environment. The general goal of this class is to have a clear understanding of key theories and texts in applied ethics and social-political philosophy, but also a clearer sense of what one must do to act ethically in every day encounters.