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Clausewitz's PuzzleThe Political Theory of War$
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Andreas Herberg-Rothe

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199202690

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202690.001.0001

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Clausewitz's Legacy: The Trinity

Clausewitz's Legacy: The Trinity

(p.91) 4 Clausewitz's Legacy: The Trinity
Clausewitz's Puzzle

Andreas Herberg‐Rothe

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the trinity as Clausewitz's attempt to summarize his different war experiences. The internal development of the first chapter with the trinity at its end follows an immanent logic of action and (symmetrical as well as asymmetrical) counter-action, which is explained in a detailed interpretation of all consequent paragraphs. Clausewitz's various preliminary efforts to conceptualize warfare (like his definition, his concept of war, and even his world-renowned formula) finally result in the wondrous trinity, which he himself called his result for theory. Clausewitz therefore introduces the trinity at the end of the first chapter, because it integrates methodologically all previous concepts. By making the trinity a basis for the whole interpretation, it is possible to combine all of Clausewitz's various conceptualizations into one comprehensive theory.

Keywords:   internal logic, chapter one, wondrous trinity, action, counteraction, symmetrical counter-action, asymmetrical counter-action, definition, formula, violence

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