By Elisabeth Krimmer, Patricia Anne Simpson
Enlightened conflict investigates the a number of and complicated interactions among battle and Enlightenment notion. even though the Enlightenment is often pointed out with the beliefs of development, everlasting peace, cause, and self-determination, Enlightenment discourse opened up in the course of a interval of lengthy ecu struggle from the Seven Years' conflict to the Napoleonic conquest of Europe. The essays during this quantity discover the palpable impression of conflict on eighteenth-century inspiration and argue for an ideological affinity between battle, Enlightenment proposal, and its legacy. The essays are interdisciplinary, attractive with heritage, artwork historical past, philosophy, army idea, gender reviews, and literature and with historic occasions and cultural contexts from the early Enlightenment via German Classicism and Romanticism. the quantity enriches our figuring out of struggle within the eighteenth century and indicates how theories and practices of battle impacted strategies of subjectivity, nationwide identification, gender, and artwork. It additionally sheds gentle at the modern dialogue of the legitimacy of violence through juxtaposing theories of warfare, thoughts of revolution, and human rights discourses. participants: Johannes Birgfeld, David Colclasure, Sara Eigen Figal, Ute Frevert, Wolf Kittler, Elisabeth Krimmer, Waltraud Maierhofer, Arndt Niebisch, Felix Saure, Galili Shahar, Patricia Anne Simpson, Inge Stephan
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Additional resources for Enlightened War: German Theories and Cultures of Warfare from Frederick the Great to Clausewitz
For both individuals and nations, virtuous activity (Tätigkeit) is both proactive and reactive: while its goals are altruistic, it is stimulated by conflict or misfortune. ” It is the function of conflict, he insisted, to catalyze the human species along a course of progress and avoid an otherwise inevitable deterioration of human culture to the level of plants and animals (201). War, for Embser, is not bestial; it is instead a way of staving off animality. It is an activity by which human communities recognize and preserve their identity and their commitment to their own common good.
17 In his Miroir des princes, ou instruction du Roi pour le jeune duc Charles-Eugène de Würtemberg (1744), Frederick wrote the following admonition: “You are the head of the civil religion of the land, which consists of integrity and all moral virtues. It is your duty to help realize these and especially humanity, which is the cardinal virtue of all thinking beings. Leave spiritual religion to the supreme being. We are all blind in this matter, erring in various ways” (Œuvres 9:6) 18 I have written extensively about Frederick’s catechism, its form, and its significance for thinking about Enlightenment theories of enmity; see Sara Eigen Figal, “When Brothers Are Enemies: Frederick the Great’s Catechism for War,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 43, no.
Among them is the obligation of alliance with the brother: “Natur und Blut erinnern uns an die Treue und Zuneigung, die wir unsern Geschwistern schultig sind, da sie mit uns einerlei Ursprung haben, und da die unauflöslichen Bande der Menschheit uns mit ihnen verbinden” (Moralischer Dialog 381; Nature and blood remind us of the loyalty and love that we owe to our siblings, because they share with us a common origin, and because the indissoluble bonds of humanity bind us with them). Nature and blood may perhaps be understood as nature both metaphysical and physical: it is a compound nature that dictates obligation by testifying to — though unable to guarantee — love owed.