For the basic mission and focus of the blog, take a look at the inaugural post: And They’re Off! In a nutshell: we are looking at the peculiar ethical and political challenges arising from (or within) “deliberately adversarial institutions.” These are institutions or practices in which we structure and regulate competitions in order to produce better results than we could by attempting to deliver goods or services directly through a more non-adversarial administrative institution (like, say, a municipal school system, a police force, or a public housing project).
In most modern states, we use deliberately adversarial institutions for economic markets, criminal and civil law, electoral politics, legislative politics, and sports; to name but a few major social institutions.
This blog will keep an eye out for problematic cases of actors gaming the rules within adversarial institutions, and of debates on how to reform the rules and regulations governing these competitions.
Ethics for Adversaries is curated by Wayne Norman,the Mike and Ruth Mackowski Professor of Ethics in the philosophy department and Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. (Wayne has blogged on related issues over at This Sporting Life.) From time to time (most recently in the winter/spring of 2016) students in Wayne’s course on Adversarial Ethics at Duke University will be posting here as well. The students in this course are expected to blog, on a regular basis, about issues they see arising in their assigned readings, in other courses, in current events, and in adversarial institutions they are most intrigued with.
Comments, and pointers to issues, are always most welcome.