Philosophy Colloquium
Barry Smith
SUNY at Buffalo
The Ontology of Terrorism

When the attempt is made to determine empirically what it is that makes an individual choose to become involved in terrorist acts, one of the few factors with predictive value is: prior involvement in petty crime. This is in part because terrorist recruiters tend to seek out those who are on the fringes of society. It is connected also with the fact that terrorists often cooperate with criminal organizations in matters of finance and tactics. Terrorist acts and criminal acts differ, however. Very roughly: the former, but not the latter, have as their objective to send a message. We shall explore what this means for an ontology of terrorism, and describe how such an ontology might be useful, for instance in predicting terrorist acts.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
3:30pm

TLF 1101