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Tag: Philosophy of War

Alexander Moseley | Philosophy of War and Peace | Intelligence & Interview N.40 | Giangiuseppe Pili

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It is with special pleasure to host Dr. Alexander Moseley in Intelligence & Interview to cover a topic which interested me for a long time now: Philosophy of war. Yes, exactly. Many of you are familiar with Just War Theory and the moral and political philosophy discussed by JWT philosophers. JWT is so influential that actually is probably the only philosophical area to be spilled over even beyond its first intentional research, as now there is also what is called “Just Intelligence Theory”. However, many arguments can be made for a philosophy of war that is not related to morals or even political philosophy. This is what I’ve called “pure philosophy of war.” Since I started exploring the topic almost ten years ago, I come up with Alexander Moseley’s book A Philosophy of War (2001), which I immediately found inspiring for the different angle he tackled the problem. After having read his book, I wrote an article freely available in this blog for the Italian readership (Alexander Moseley – A philosophy of war (una filosofia della guerra) Then, I got in touch with Alexander, and I invited him to write a piece for a collective book I was editing on the philosophy of war and piece (Socrate va in guerra: Socrate goes to war), where Dr Moseley covered the crucial topic of the causes of war. It is then with my distinct pleasure to publish the interview on Scuola Filosofica – for those who don’t know it yet; it is one of the leading cultural blogs in Italy. In the name of Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Giangiuseppe Pili, Alex: thank you!

1# Dr. Alexander Moseley, let’s start from the basics. How would you like to present yourself to the International readers and Philosophical School (Scuola Filosofica)?

A good question! Although I have worked in the university sector, most of my research and writings after my doctorate were done while running a private educational company as ‘an independent academic.’ I have been commissioned to write several articles on the ethics of war and the nature of ‘the warrior’ after publishing my first book, A Philosophy of War in 2001. I continue to research broadly and in turn my thinking has evolved to some extent from those early researches (see notes below on consciousness).

[Preview] Sorites paradox and the problems for the ontology of war

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1 gunshot is not a war, 2 gunshots are not a war… are 1 million gunshots a war? There is no such thing so investigated as war and, at the same time, still so outcasted theoretically. Ambiguity, vagueness and logical conundrums lay unsolved in the very hardcore of the several theories that considered war from a general perspective and, then, philosophically committed explicitly or implicitly. It is not the experience and observational data we lack but the general ability to generalize and expand our knowledge beyond what we can directly observe empirically and historically. Sorites arguments are everywhere in war theories: vagueness and ambiguities of many shapes inform the literature. Only a philosophical account of war can solve some of those issues: an ontology of war is needed to bring light into the heart of darkness.

Alexander Moseley – A philosophy of war (una filosofia della guerra)

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Un libro sulla filosofia della guerra? Filosofia pura della guerra!


A philosophy of war del filosofo inglese Alexander Moseley, autore di alcuni articoli sulla influente Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, è una delle poche opere filosofiche dedicate esclusivamente alla guerra. L’opera è edita nel 2002 e rimane ancora uno dei pochi esemplari di filosofia applicata alla guerra. Nonostante Moseley cerchi di rimanere fedele al suo proprio imperativo di non tratteggiare la guerra da un punto di vista morale, egli, come vedremo, in realtà è profondamente impegnato nella difesa di una peculiare prospettiva antropologica, capace di fondare una forma radicale di pacifismo. Tale visione antropologica difende l’idea che l’uomo sia libero di scegliere in base alle sue proprie idee, le quali sono determinate dal contesto storico-ambientale, ma non sono tali da annullare la sua volontà, il cui libero arbitrio è il baluardo che garantisce la libertà stessa. Moseley, poi, cerca di portare argomenti economici e sociali a favore della pace, la cui razionalità si impernia attorno al riconoscimento della superiorità della cooperazione, collaborazione e integrazione sia tra singoli esseri umani che tra gruppi sociali.

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Struttura dell’articolo

  1. Considerazioni metodologiche
  2. Premesse individuali e premesse sociali: enunciazione e disamina
  3. Definire la guerra: un obiettivo chiaro
  4. La guerra non è inevitabile e argomenti a favore di un pluralismo metafisico, descrittivo ed esplicativo
  5. Alternative alla guerra: cooperazione individuale e internazionale sulla base della ragione, delle idee e della cultura
  6. Conclusioni

Bibliografia citata