2005
DOI: 10.1177/0047117805055410 View full text |Buy / Rent full text
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Abstract: I review the respective claims of Frost, Mayall and Rengger about the normative benefits of knowledge of tragedy and the potential of global civil society to transform the international system. I argue that Thucydides and Morgenthau were more optimistic about the ability of human beings to learn from art, history and experience. They believed – as do I – that tragedy is part and parcel of the human condition, and will always be with us for the reasons Frost so effectively summarizes. This does not preclude sig… Show more

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“…While perpetual peace is not to be expected, Morgenthau does not necessarily argue that men are endlessly condemned to repeat past mistakes. In fact, it is essential for man to be aware of the tragic nature of politics in order to learn how to mitigate it (Lebow 2005:333). In particular, such knowledge constitutes the best antidote against hubris, which always ends up in murderous ideological crusades in an attempt to impose one’s values upon others.…”
Section: Hans Morgenthau On Politics Ethics and The Future Of Internmentioning
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“…While perpetual peace is not to be expected, Morgenthau does not necessarily argue that men are endlessly condemned to repeat past mistakes. In fact, it is essential for man to be aware of the tragic nature of politics in order to learn how to mitigate it (Lebow 2005:333). In particular, such knowledge constitutes the best antidote against hubris, which always ends up in murderous ideological crusades in an attempt to impose one’s values upon others.…”
Section: Hans Morgenthau On Politics Ethics and The Future Of Internmentioning
“…figure prominently.Richard NedLebow (2005) situates his position close to Frost's. He, too, considers tragedy central to international relations: the potential for tragedy is omnipresent and powerful leaders, especially, may succumb to hubris, forget their limitations and become blind to risks.Lebow argues that both Thucydides and Morgenthau combined sensitivity to the causes and consequences of tragedy with a belief in progress, however strongly tempered.…”
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