(Image: A section from the Bayeux Tapestry. Source: Wikimedia..)
[T]here must be arms, for the members of a community have need of them, and in their own hands, too, in order to maintain authority both against disobedient subjects and against external assailants.Aristotle, Politics VII.8, 1328b7–10.
It has been said that time is a strange dimension, and so it is. Unbelievably, it has already been two years since I helped organize the debate between Franco Trivigno and Henrik Syse on war and virtue (I thought of the title as a subtle nod to Tolstoy’s War and Peace), which was held at the University of Oslo on February 5, 2019. In this essay for the student journal Filosofisk supplement, I share some of the background for the debate and offer my own point of view on the disputed question: Can there be a virtuous warrior? Since “happiness” (eudaimonia) is defined by Aristotle as “activity of soul in accordance with excellence” or virtue (Nic. Eth. I.7, 1098a16–17), we may restate this question in line with Wordsworth’s famous poem: Can there be a happy warrior?Les mer