By W. B. Gallie
Highbrow eminence aside, what did Kant, Clausewitz, Marx and Engels, and Tolstoy have in universal? Professor Gallic argues that they made contributions to 'international concept' - to the certainty of the nature and explanations of warfare and of the potential for peace among countries - that have been of unrivalled originality of their personal occasions and stay of undiminished value in ours. yet those contributions were both neglected or a lot misunderstood ; mainly simply because, as with every highbrow efforts in unexplored fields, they have been usually imperfectly expressed, and have been additionally overshadowed by way of their author's extra remarkable achievements. Professor Gallic has taken care of out, in comparison and contrasted, criticised and re-phrased the lessons of his selected authors on peace and battle.
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Extra resources for Philosophers of Peace and War: Kant, Clausewitz, Marx, Engels and Tolstoy (The Wiles lectures)
And it is difficult to believe that the hardship, short-comings and disappointments of his career did not serve him well when he set about systematising his ideas on the general conduct of war. Certainly in this task - which to the eye of history was his life's work - he showed a dedication to the maxim 'Know thy trade' that is comparable to that which the greatest of philosophers have accorded to 'Know thyself or 'Know the limits of thy knowledge'. If he had not achieved greatness in war, he was to bring the greatness of war under his intellectual command.
To many of Kant's twentieth-century expositors a simple way of reconciling these outwardly very different approaches to peace was as follows. The second view (possibly foreshadowed in The Idea of a Universal History of 1784 and almost certainly intended in part I of the Metaphysics of Morals of 1797) discloses the 'teeth' of the proposed confederation, the secret of its political efficacy and power of growth; whereas the former view, although true, expresses what is virtually a truth by definition.
Nevertheless, and to a greater degree than is usually admitted, Kant recognised that new tasks of government are always liable to arise as circumstances, needs and the level of public enlightenment change. And among such political changes, one of paramount importance seemed to him to have emerged in eighteenth-century Europe and to have become an urgent duty upon all European governments. This was the task of replacing their natural lawlessness (or their condition of chronic war or readiness-for-war with each other) by a legal relationship in which their differences would be settled by mediation and arbitration rather than by armed force.
Philosophers of Peace and War: Kant, Clausewitz, Marx, Engels and Tolstoy (The Wiles lectures) by W. B. Gallie