Internationally known researcher, philosopher to give Ethics Center talk

Contact: Mark Schwerin

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—An internationally known researcher and philosopher at Stockholm University will give a talk at Western Michigan University as part of the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society's Fall Lecture Series.

Dr. Helen Frowe is the Wallenberg Academy Research Fellow in Philosophy at Stockholm University, where she directs the Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace. Frowe's presentation, titled "Flip the Flipping Switch!: On Lesser Evil Justifications for Harming," begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in 157 Bernhard Center and is part of the Ninth Annual Graduate Philosophy Conference. Her talk is free and open to the public and co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy.

About the talk

Frowe will explore lesser-evil justifications widely used to explain the permissibility of infringing a person's right not to be physically harmed in order to prevent greater harm to others. Examples include killing one person to save the lives of others. Frowe argues that such an act isn't merely permissible, it is actually required and there is a duty to save innocent people from physical harm.

Frowe's main research interests are permissible harming and the ethics of war. Her recent publications include "Defensive Killing," "How We Fight" and "The Ethics of War and Peace: An Introduction."

Frowe's visit to WMU is through the WMU Visiting Scholars and Artists Program. Established in 1960, the program significantly contributes to the intellectual life of WMU and the community. The program provides funds for academic units to bring distinguished scholars and artists to campus. These visitors meet with faculty and students in their fields and address the community at large.

For more information, contact Emily Mathias at or visit