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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Paradoxes of War by Princeton University

631 ratings
144 reviews

About the Course

The Paradoxes of War teaches us to understand that war is not only a normal part of human existence, but is arguably one of the most important factors in making us who we are. Through this course, I hope that you will come to appreciate that war is both a natural expression of common human emotions and interactions and a constitutive part of how we cohere as groups. That is, war is paradoxically an expression of our basest animal nature and the exemplar of our most vaunted and valued civilized virtues. You will learn some basic military history and sociology in this course as a lens for the more important purpose of seeing the broader social themes and issues related to war. I want you to both learn about war, but more importantly, use it as way of understanding your everyday social world. So, for example, the discussion of war and gender will serve to start you thinking about how expectations of masculinity are created and our discussion of nationalism will make clear how easy “us-them” dichotomies can be established and (ab)used. I will suggest some readings for you to complement the class and assign some activities through which you will be able to apply the theoretical insights from the course to your observations of everyday life. At the end of the course, you will start to see war everywhere and come to appreciate how much it defines our life. All the features of this course are available for free. It does not offer a certificate upon completion....

Top reviews

Mar 14, 2018

Very interesting topic and well-presented, too. Covers virtually every historic period in which there's been warfare (which, I guess, is every historic period in which there's been people).

Jan 11, 2020

Great course! This course has provided some great information and proposed some important philosophical questions. I wish there were exams and a certificate to go along with it too.

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126 - 144 of 144 Reviews for Paradoxes of War

By Derek D V

Sep 6, 2016

I loved the elaborate structure, but they should provide a certificate

By Krishaan K

Feb 3, 2016

Although long-winded, it is a fantastic course w/fantastic insights!

By samantha

Jul 22, 2017

Great information shared in an easy to understand method.

By Smita P M

Jan 26, 2016

Great Course, explores the war in its different facets.

By Rahul

Sep 8, 2015

Good information. Good discussion forum. Recommended.

By Mustafa Ü

Sep 17, 2015

really introductal course ive utilized.thank you.

By Mike D

Sep 11, 2015

I love the idea of a sociological view of war.

By Zeynep B

Dec 14, 2019

Nice but sometimes becomes too repetitive.

By Fumio S

Jan 24, 2016

I did enjoining this program. Many thanks.

By Janis A

Oct 4, 2015

Good course, with a lot of information.

By Antoine C

Jun 16, 2017


By Julie C

Jan 14, 2016

For an undergraduate course it's good - my only comment is on delivery - quotations given verbally might have been better if shown on screen to drive them home.

I hope the professor will do a military history course that analyzes war more particularly now that we have the broad strokes. My interest is piqued from this course and I want to know more about specific wars/battles. I am also interested in war prior to 1500, esp. ancient civilizations.

By Rui V

Sep 22, 2016

Weekly quizzes would be great!

By Erez B

Nov 25, 2019

too many cliches, too little substance

By Bill W

Jun 12, 2018

The course content is very good and well delivered. Unfortunately, the forums are not replied to and you have to send months rejoining the close in order to get sufficient comments on your work to complete the course. In my case it took nine months just to finish, even though I completed the materials in under two months. It would be great if the backroom parts of the course were as good as the material and delivery.

By Christine L

Nov 2, 2015

It said it could be done on your schedule, but that is not true. I want to withdraw from this stupid course - it sucks.

By Wylie К י

Aug 20, 2015

My initial impressions are of astounding mediocrity. Amazes me how academic careers are made these days.

By Robert W M

Feb 4, 2016

After almost a year I am still waiting to receive my grade of 90%+ for c

By Diane L

Aug 22, 2015

New format makes it impossible to watch off-line.