By Antulio J. Echevarria II
Whereas many students agree that Clausewitz's On struggle is usually misunderstood, nearly none have explored his technique to work out no matter if it might probably increase our realizing of his ideas. This e-book lays out Clausewitz's technique in a brisk and easy sort. It then makes use of that as a foundation for figuring out his contributions to the ever starting to be physique of data of conflict. the explicit contributions this research addresses are Clausewitz's theories about the nature of warfare, the connection among warfare and politics, and a number of other of the key ideas of method he tested. those theories and rules lie on the middle of the present debates over the character of latest clash. in addition they underpin a lot of the guideline that prepares army and civilian leaders for his or her roles within the improvement and execution of army procedure. hence, they're vital even in circles the place Clausewitz is simply in brief studied. whereas figuring out On struggle is not any extra a prerequisite for profitable wars than wisdom is a demand for exercise strength, Clausewitz's opus has develop into whatever of an authoritative reference for these aspiring to extend their wisdom of conflict. by means of linking process and idea, this booklet contributes considerably for that reason.
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Extra resources for Clausewitz and Contemporary War
However, a better understanding of his logical method will help shed light on the reason for this apparent ineﬃciency, and perhaps encourage readers to persevere. Kiesewetter deﬁned logic as the science of the rules of thought. ‘Logic’, he explained, ‘is to thought what grammar is to speech’. 5 He divided logic into two types: general, which pertains to rational thought overall; and special, which concerns speciﬁc subjects or ﬁelds of knowledge, such as history and jurisprudence. He further divided general logic into two types: pure (rein), which covers theoretical or abstract concepts; and applied (angewandte) logic, or practical reasoning, which concerns empirical data received through the senses.
10 The similarities between this passage and what Kiesewetter wrote in the Outline of General Logic are too obvious to ignore: The formal truth of a concept is the subject of logic since logic concerns itself with the laws of thought. . We call a concept logically true if it accords with the formal laws of thought . . 11 Other similarities exist, such as Clausewitz’s and Kiesewetter’s respective definitions of laws and principles, objective and subjective knowledge, and the concept of genius.
For this line of inquiry, Clausewitz relied heavily on military history, since he realized his own experience in war was too limited to provide a suﬃcient basis for drawing ﬁrm conclusions. 13 In this case, our investigation would conclude that a ﬂying machine could indeed exist, logically, but it was not clear if it could exist materially. Finally, the doctrine of concepts also obliged arranging the concept within, or among, other known concepts in the same or a related ﬁeld. This step amounted to a sort of ﬁnishing touch that completed the examination.