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War, Peace, and Human Nature

Why do human beings fight wars? Is war an unavoidable (and tragic) aspect of the human condition or might we achieve a permanent world peace by human moral and political effort? Has the human attitude toward war and peace changed over time, and if so, how? We will take up these questions and others, reading and engaging with a range of writings on war and peace from the worlds of ancient Greece and the Hebrew Bible to the Enlightenment and the modern period. We will ponder the ideas and arguments of philosophers, statesmen, poets, warriors, and pacifists, and discuss the challenges of war and peace in our own time.