Zhilin V.I. War as a Means of Truth and Justice Consolidation: Heraclitus

Zhilin Vladimir Ilyich
Doctor of Philosophical Sciences, Associate Professor, Head of Department of Humanitarian, Natural-Science and Legal Disciplines,
Omsk Institute (Branch) of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics
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10 let Oktyabrya St., 195, 644009 Omsk, Russian Federation


Abstract. War as a peculiar and effective means of truth and justice consolidation, is used by many political forces throughout the millennia of human history. The perception of war in such a way is fascinating for both romantics and for pragmatists. After all, the winner is not simply stronger or more cunning, but at the same time, the winner is cleverer and more ethical. Moreover, the winner owns truth. And if so, both moral qualities, and values of the winner are absolute. The victory automatically involves the statement of truth as the only possible. It also is not important any more that the victory is connected with the deception and perfidy, the superiority in warfare means, the victory is perceived and treated by the winner and his allies as a celebration of justice. One of the first philosophers who recognized the gnoseological role of war was Heraclitus. From his viewpoint the war can and has to lead to the celebration of truth and justice. However, there is an impression that the war, according to Heraclitus, is a means of lie disposal, it is not simply war between people and groups of people who spread swords in order to establish the order favorable to someone, thus deepening injustice and, thereby, creating still bigger “tension” of  life. The  Heraclitus’s  war  is  the  fire  which  comes  as  punishment for  injustice  and  lie, destroys  the flame  of an  artful  design  of “witnesses  of  lie” and,  as a result, establishes  a divine, lawful order. Heraclitus was not the militarist and his “war” does not represent mutual murder of people for the power and wealth. Heraclitus’s “war” is ontological “explosion”, ignition of the life. And, in this regard, it is necessary to acknowledge that the Heraclitus’s “war” has no relation to traditional sophistic “argumentum baculinum”.

Key words: Heraclitus, war, fire, dialectics, reason, truth.

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