By Azar Gat
This e-book sheds new mild at the origins and nature of recent army pondering. the tips of Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831)--which stay on the middle of strategic research today--have formerly been tested except their 18th-century cultural and philosophical roots. Gat the following demonstrates the level to which tradition impacts army concept through concerning a sequence of army thinkers to their cultural backgrounds. He additionally presents a provocative critique of Clausewitz's vintage paintings On War, and demonstrates how the main currents of recent army suggestion have advanced from the cultural frameworks and ancient outlooks of either the German flow and the Enlightenment.
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Additional info for The Origins of Military Thought: From the Enlightenment to Clausewitz (Oxford Historical Monographs)
X and xn. The French Enlightenment 39 the focus of attention only after the Seven Years War when they sparked the great doctrinal controve�sy over the ordre profond and the ordre mince. The French Enlightenment swarmed with definitive systems intended to regulate this or that sphere of human life, and, characteristically, all the participants in the intense military controversy believed that it was to p:-oduce a system of a definitive and absolute nature. As Clausewitz wrote in his outline of the development of military theory: 'tactics attempted to convert the structure of its component parts into a general system.
It was not his particular form of science but the scientific outlook itself that counted. Moritecuccoli worked out l sophisticated formulation of a new theoretical paradigm in the study of war, expressing a new, emerging world-view. Following the introduccion of firearms, historical change was, to a limited degree, recognized; but it was overshadowed by the notion of univeJsal rules and principles which was inspired by the sciences and reflected a new intelleccual enterprise to subject all spheres of life to the domination of r�ason.
The French Enlightenment 32 instructive principles, and historians wrote on war from their imagination. Gustavus Adolphus established a military method in the organization of his army and was followed by many disciples. His contemporary Montecuccoli was the only one tv examine the military profession in some detail. However, since the time of Gustavus Adolphus, there has been a gradual decline amongst us, which musr be i mp uted to our forms, without regard to p rinci pl es . . Thus there remains nothing but cuStoms, the pr i ncip l es of which are unknown to us.