Shannon French

Inamori Professor of Ethics

Tinkham Veale University Center-Suite 280

Shannon E. French came to Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in 2008, after teaching for 11 years at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, where she was a tenured member of the Ethics department and Associate Chair of the division of Leadership, Ethics, and Law. Now a full professor in philosophy at CWRU, she has a secondary appointment in the School of Law, is the Inamori Professor in Ethics, is the Director of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, and directs the first Master’s Degree (MA) program in military ethics in the United States. Her primary research field is military ethics; especially conduct of war issues, ethical leadership, command climate, warrior transitions, moral injury, and the future of warfare. Her other scholarly interests include corporate and organizational ethics, meta-ethics, moral psychology, neuroethics, and ethics and technology (including emerging tech). Her publications include The Code of the Warrior: Exploring Warrior Values, Past and Present, now in its second edition, edited volumes on military ethics, and many diverse book chapters and articles with recent titles ranging from “Artificial Intelligence in Military Decision-Making” to “Neuroethics, Dehumanization, and the Prevention of Moral Injury” to “Military Neuro-Interventions: Solving the Right Problems for Ethical Outcomes” to “Strategic Dissent in the Military.” She is currently working on a book on ethics and artificial intelligence. She is an LME (legal, moral, and ethical) consultant for the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) and was a non-resident Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). In addition, she is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Ethical Leadership, an associate editor for the Journal of Military Ethics, and an editorial board member for the Journal of Character and Leadership Integration, as well as an active member of the European Chapter of the International Society for Military Ethics (Euro-ISME). Since 2017 she also serves as the General Hugh Shelton Distinguished Chair in Ethics for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Foundation.

Selected Publications:


French, Shannon E., The Code of the Warrior: Exploring the Values of Warrior Cultures, Past and Present, revised and expanded Second Edition, Lantham, MD, and New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2017.

French, Shannon E., The Code of the Warrior: Exploring the Values of Warrior Cultures, Past and Present, Lantham, MD, and New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2003.

Lucas, George R., French, Shannon E., Lengbeyer, Lawrence, Eberle, Christopher, Garren, David, and Wertheimer, Roger, editors, Ethics for Military Leaders, Fifth Edition, New York: Pearson Publishing, 2002.

Mosert, Justin, French, Shannon E., Pierce, Albert, and Donovan, Aine, editors, Ethics for the Junior Officer, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, Fourth Edition, 2000.


Book Chapters

French, Shannon E., “War and Technology: Should Data Decide Who Lives, Who Dies?” Michael Boylan, editor, Ethics in the AI, Technology, and Information Age, Lantham, MD, and New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2022.

French, Shannon E., and Lindsay, Lisa N. “Artificial Intelligence in Military Decision-Making: Avoiding Ethical and Strategic Perils with an Option-Generator Model,” Bernard Koch and Richard Schoonhoven, editors, Emerging Military Technologies: Ethical and Legal Perspectives, The Netherlands and Boston: Brill/Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2022.

French, Shannon E. and Jack, Anthony I., “Neuroethics, Dehumanization, and the Prevention of Moral Injury,” Moral Injury Reader, edited by Douglas Pryer, Eugene, OR: Cascade Books (Wipf & Stock), 2018.

French, Shannon E., “Distinction and Civil Immunity,” Cambridge Handbook on Just War Theory, edited by Larry May, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.

French, Shannon E., Sisk, Victoria, and Bass, Caroline, “Drones, Honor, and Fragmented Sovereignty: The Impact of New and Emerging Technology on the Warrior’s Code,” The Ethics of War and Peace Revisited: Moral Challenges in an Era of Contested and Fragmented Sovereignty, edited by Daniel Brunstetter and Jean-Vincent Holeindre, Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2018.

French, Shannon E., and Thomas, Col. Joseph, “Honor in Military Culture: A Standard of Integrity and Framework for Moral Restraint,” Honor in the Modern World, Dan Demetriou and Laurie Johnson, editors, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016. 

French, Shannon E., “Warrior Codes Revisited: Military Ethics in Variant Cultural Traditions,” George R. Lucas, editor, The Routledge Handbook of Military Ethics, London: Routledge Publishers, 2015.

French, Shannon E., and Jack, Anthony I., “Dehumanizing the Enemy: The Intersection of Neuroethics and Military Ethics,” David Whetham, editor, Responsibilities to Protect: Perspectives in Theory and Practice, The Netherlands and Boston: Brill/Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2015.

Patrick Lin, Max Mehlman, Keith Abney, Jai Galliott, Shannon E. French, Michael Burnam-Fink, Alexander R. LaCroix, Seth Schuknecht, and Shannon Vallor, “Super Soldiers: The Ethical, Legal, and Operational Implications,” Steven Johan Thompson, editor, Global Issues and Ethical Concerns in Human Enhancement Technologies, Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI Global publishers, 2014.

French, Shannon E., “Why Warriors Need a Code,” in Ethics of War and Conflict, edited by Asa Kasher, New York: Routledge, 2014.

French, Shannon E., “An American Military Ethicist’s Perspective: Such Waste in Brief Mortality,” The Price of Peace: Just War in the 21st Century, Charles Reed and David Ryall, editors, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

French, Shannon E., “Death Stands Close Upon Us Now: Steven Pressfield’s Gates of Fire,” Leadership Explored:  Lessons in Leadership from Great Works of Literature, LtCol Joseph Thomas, Ph.D., editor, Annapolis:  Naval Academy Institute Press, 2006.

French, Shannon E., “The Code of the Warrior,” in The Harmon Memorial Lectures in Military History, published for the United States Air Force Academy by the University Press of the Pacific, 2005.

French, Shannon E., “Murderers, Not Warriors: The Moral Distinction between Terrorists and Legitimate Fighters in Asymmetric Conflicts,” Terrorism and International Policy, James Sterba, editor, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.



French, Shannon E. and Sandstrom, Jacob A., “Military Neuro-Interventions: Solving the Right Problems for Ethical Outcomes,” InterAgency Journal, Volume 10, Number 3, 2019 (pages 7-19).

Brigety, Reuben, and French, Shannon E., “Strategic Dissent in the Military,” Military Virtues (Issues in Military Ethics series), edited by Michael Skerker and David Whetham, Howgate Publishing, 2018.

French, Shannon E., “The Code of the Warrior: Ideals of Warrior Cultures Throughout History,” The Journal of Character & Leadership Integration, Winter 2017 (pages 64-71).

Rochford, Kylie C., Jack, Anthony I., Boyatzis, Richard, and French, Shannon E., “Ethical Leadership as a Balance Between Opposing Neural Networks,” Journal of Business Ethics. doi:10.1007/s10551-016-3264-x, 755, 2017 (pages 1-16).

French, Shannon E., Bilimoria, Diana, and Boyatzis, Richard, “Disruptive Philosophy: A Turnaround Artist with a Heart,” Harvard Deusto Business Review, Spring 2015 (pages 16-30).

French, Shannon E., “Moral Wounds: A Response to Jeff McMahan’s The Moral Responsibility of Volunteer Soldiers,” The Boston Review, November 6, 2013.

French, Shannon E., “No Separate Sphere: Assessing Character and Morality in the Context of War,” Philosophy in the Contemporary World, David Chan, editor, special issue on War, Character, and Virtue, Volume 19, issue 2, 2012 (pages 50-60).

French, Shannon E., “Sergeant Davis’s Stern Charge: The Obligation of Officers to Preserve the Humanity of Their Troops,” Journal of Military Ethics, David Whetham, guest editor, Volume 8, issue 2, 2009 (pages 116-126).

Bellamy, Alexander and French, Shannon E., “Ethical Responses to Terrorism:  Establishing a Framework,” developed for Proceedings of the 7th Annual Canadian Conference on Ethical Leadership, edited by Daniel Legace-Roy and Colonel Bernd Horn, Kingston, Ontario: Canadian Defence Academy Press, Vol. 1, 2008 (pages 107-133).

French, Shannon E., “Achilles vs. Hector: Combating Moral Damage with the Warrior’s Code,” Defender: The National Journal of the Australian Defense Association, Malcolm Kennedy, editor, vol. XXI, no. 2, Winter 2004

French, Shannon E., “The Code of the Warrior: Minimizing the Moral Damage of War,” Proceedings of the Rowell Symposium, Russell Parkin, editor, 2004.

French, Shannon E., “Roman Stoicism,” in The Moral Foundations of Leadership, George R. Lucas and William R. Rubel, editors, New York: Pearson-Longmans, 2004.

French, Shannon E., “The Code of the Warrior: Why Warriors Need a Code,” PACEM, Are Eidhamar, editor, vol. 6, issue 1, January 2003.

French, Shannon E., “With Your Shield Or On It: Challenging the Pacifist Mother Archetype,” Public Affairs Quarterly, John Kekes, editor, vol. 15, January 2001.