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Document Details :

Title: Scheler's Metaphysics of War
Author(s): SCHÄFER, Rainer
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 79    Issue: 4   Date: 2017   
Pages: 801-817
DOI: 10.2143/TVF.79.4.3284702

Abstract :
Scheler’s The Genius of War and the German War (1915) is a) German World War I propaganda, b) a metaphysics of war, c) a philosophy of world-history, and d) an expansion of phenomenology to topics like patriotism, courage, inter-subjectivity, and the political. Although widely ignored in phenomenological research, Scheler’s text is a paradigm for the combination of propaganda and philosophy. The founder of phenomenological value and virtue ethics claims that WW I is the apex of the historical development towards a just war, which realizes the love of the Christian God. Furthermore, Scheler’s Genius is of some philosophical importance, since it applies the phenomenological theory of ethical values and social emotions (sympathy, empathy), to the sphere of politics and war. Scheler tries to work out philosophical criteria for a just war and a hierarchy of ethical values which justify war. Scheler’s program shows that social shared values and virtues like empathy, sympathy, patriotism, faith and feelings of justice are politically motivated and play with fire.

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