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The topic of war and peace is as relevant today as it was several millennia ago. Though views on and motives for warfare have changed over the centuries, Philosophy of War and Peace proves that many past ideas still merit consideration today.Free table of contents here.
This exhaustive collection of essays addresses the historical, cultural and political background of various views on war and peace worldwide. It gives modern readings of ancient philosophers, such as Heraclitus, Renaissance writers, such as Niccolò Machiavelli and Michel de Montaigne, as well as more contemporary thinkers, such as Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsche. Its cultural analysis spans from ancient China to the middle ages to the present day, encompassing many different religions. By demonstrating that some of our interpretations of famous texts are inherently flawed and unearthing the philosophical ideas about life, death and the structure of the world that underlie them, this work challenges the roots of some of our most fundamental ideas about conflict and justice today.
In addition to the cultural and religious beliefs that underlie a call to arms, these essays consider our contemporary political context of the way we look at war and peace. The way we view our past is shaped by our present beliefs, and the foregrounding or trivialization of certain historical events is often a political act. Philosophy of War and Peace examines different methods we use today for dealing with the trauma of war at peace time and unravels the complexity of philosophical issues caused by the presence and absence of war in our world.