What is peace? : It's value and necessity

In Jinfen Yan & David E. Schrader (eds.), Creating a Global Dialogue on Value Inquiry: Papers From the Xxii Congress of Philosophy (Rethinking Philosophy Today). Edwin Mellen Press (2009)
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The following article is a reflection on the value of peace, a term often attributes to the absence of war or the lack of violence, conflict, suppression or, in short, phenomena considerer opposite to peace. But, is this really how peace should be defined? It is a fact that peace, be it personal inner peace or peace within a society, is constantly threatened, attacked, violated, and destroyed by a variation of causes: the failure to keep a promise, the breach of a contract, obtained by illegitimate means, economical ambitions, diverse geo-political strategies, anarchy, social pressure, the lack of understanding on an interpersonal level, a family crisis, immaturity, unemployment, acts of injustice, poverty, the failure to adapt, discrimination, migration, terrorism, arms trafficking, civil wars, the threat of a world war and the usage of weapons of mass destruction, etc.; factors that take away peace, among men and women, societies, and entire countries. But…what is peace? Why do we struggle so much to obtain it? Why is it so appreciated by the majority mankind? Why have humanists, philosophers, politicians, civil right organizations, and men of good will in general dealt with this topic in such an extended manner? Why it has written so much about peace? Why peace is so fragile? These are some of the questions that I will try to answer in this contribution, using some of the texts of St. Augustine, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, and Hegel as reference.

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Hortensia Cuellar
Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey Campus Ciudad de México


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