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Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership
Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership

The New NE203 Course: Ethics and Moral Reasoning for the Naval Leader

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  • Design and Innovation

    Design and Innovation

  • Radio Stockdale

    Radio Stockdale

  • Virtual Reality

    Virtual Reality

  • About


NE203 Moral Reasoning for Naval Leaders is an ethics course required of all Midshipmen at the US Naval Academy. Its purpose is to prepare future officers for the difficult moral decisions that they will have to make during their career. Recently, NE203 has been thoroughly overhauled so that it focuses less on moral theorizing and more on moral perception, moral deliberation, and moral formation — all in order to prepare Midshipmen to lead sailors and Marines in harm’s way. This podcast series surveys a most innovative way to deliver ethics education, one that has no parallel in any other academic institution. 

              Episode #1                 NE203 Overview

              Episode #2                 Moral Perception

              Episode #3                 Moral Deliberation

              Episode #4                 Character

              Episode #5                 Just War



Just War (22:08) Dr. Roger Herbert   Episode #005

Under what conditions is the state morally justified in waging war? What are the moral responsibilities of those called upon to fight their nation's wars? This podcast introduces just war theory, a scholarly tradition that has evolved over the course of millennia as an ethical guide for the statesmen and combatants who must grapple with these difficult and enormously consequential questions.

Character (39:17) Dr. Mike Good   Episode #004

A discussion on character, the moral virtues most relevant to aspiring military officers, and how NE203 is structured to help midshipmen learn how to develop their characters.

Moral Deliberation (14:52) Dr. Marcus Hedahl   Episode #003

Moral deliberation involves the filtering and weighing (whether consciously or unconsciously) of relevant moral principles and concepts in order to determine a course of action. In this episode, we consider the novel way that NE203 teaches Moral Deliberation in order to shift our focus from theory to practice.

Moral Perception (18:43) Dr. Marcus Hedahl   Episode #002

Moral perception is awareness of the morally relevant features of the world. Many things can get in the way of perceiving the morally salient features of a given situation, our history, our culture, our biases--even being in a hurry. In this episode, we talk about how we consider this important aspect of morality.

NE203 Overview (39:50) Dr. Chris Eberle   Episode #001

This podcast introduces the main reasons that counted in favor of the thorough revision of NE203 and summarizes the most important changes made to that course.