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Joseph M. Hatfield

Joseph M.  Hatfield

Virtue, Purpose, and War: Secular Foundations for Reasoning about Warfare

Supervisor: Dr Charles Jones

College: Selwyn College


Joe Hatfield’s research focuses on the ethics of war, virtue ethics, and the just war tradition.  He holds a Master of Studies (M.St.) in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

He is an active-duty U.S. naval officer whose experience includes operational tours with Helicopter Squadron Five aboard the aircraft carrier USS EISENHOWER (from 2007-2009), as an analyst at U.S. Africa Command  (2009-2012) and Commander Task Force SIX SEVEN (2012-present).  He was awarded the Joint Service Achievement Medal for his work during the 2011 Libya Crisis, where his analysis was used to brief senior decision makers in the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the President of the United States.  He has also been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Naval Commendation Medal, and Naval Achievement Medal (with Gold Star in lieu of Second Award).


  • Rear Admiral Thomas A. Brooks Junior Intelligence Officer of the Year 2013: U.S. Navy (a U.S. Navy-wide Award)
  • Madingley Thesis Prize (2011): University of Cambridge
  • Certificate of Honors in Philosophy (2005): University of Missouri
  • Elected, President of the Philosophical Society (1999): Wichita State University

Research Interests

  • Ethics, meta-ethics, normative philosophy, and theories of justice
  • Contemporary analytic philosophy: particularly the work of Donald Davidson, Daniel Dennett, John McDowell, and  Robert Brandom
  • Epistemology: particularly the regress problem, epistemic foundationalism, and theories of justification
  • Philosophy of science (including social science)
  • Theories of truth: correspondence, coherence, pragmatic, deflationary
  • Economics (including heterodox approaches)
  • Quantitative analysis: statistical methods (and their limitations)


Key Publications

  • Hatfield, Joseph, and Mohammed Hafez, 2006. “Do Targeted Assassinations Work? A Multivariate Analysis of Israel’s Controversial Tactic during Al-Aqsa Uprising ,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 29(4): 359–382.

Other Publications