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‘Ender’s Game’ Forum Will Discuss Notion of So-called Legitimate War

kgaubatz-kurt-gaubatzKurt Gaubatz

Old Dominion University's Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs will host a forum Wednesday, Nov. 13, to discuss the notion of so-called legitimate war, following the release of the blockbuster Hollywood movie "Ender's Game."

ODU's D.E. Wittkower, assistant professor of philosophy, and Kurt Gaubatz, associate professor with the Graduate Program in International Studies, will be panelists for the program, titled "Ender's Game and Just War."

The forum, to be held in Chandler Recital Hall of the Diehn Center for the Performing Arts, is free and open to the public, beginning at 7 p.m.

Currently the No. 1 movie in the country, "Ender's Game" tells the story of an intergalactic war where a brilliant child, Ender Wiggin, is recruited and trained to lead his fellow soldiers into a battle that will determine the future of Earth.

Wittkower and his wife, Lucinda Rush, education reference librarian at ODU, are co-editors of the book "Ender's Game and Philosophy," released in October by Open Court Publishing.

"Ender's Game," Orson Scott Card's award-winning 1985 novel, is both popular and controversial, having been banned by some schools and adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps as an addition to its official reading list. "Ender's Game" and its sequels explore rich themes - the violence and cruelty of children, the role of empathy in war, and the balance of individual dignity and the social good - with compelling elements of a coming-of-age story and exciting and immersive battle scenes.

"Ender's Game and Philosophy" brings together more than 30 philosophers to engage in wide-ranging discussion of the troubling, exciting and fascinating issues raised in and amidst the excitement and fear of Card's novels and Gavin Hood's film.

ODU's Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs exists to raise awareness and stimulate discussion of the ethical dimensions of matters of public concern, within both the ODU campus community and the larger Hampton Roads community. It is housed in the College of Arts and Letters' Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, and its mission includes:

  • Strengthening moral community and fostering a commitment to ethical ideals in public life;
  • Facilitating reflection on the ethical standards that govern the professions; and
  • Highlighting the unique and valuable contribution that philosophical reasoning can make to practical decision making.

The Nov. 13 forum has been recognized as one of the "Points of Light" in the International Centenary Celebration of the Peace Palace: http://www.pieceofthepalace.com/POINTS%20OF%20LIGHT/.