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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Paradoxes of War by Princeton University

4.6
stars
614 ratings
136 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

DW

Mar 15, 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).

JW

Jan 12, 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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101 - 125 of 136 Reviews for Paradoxes of War

By Madhavi S

Jul 01, 2016

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By christophe v d

Mar 05, 2016

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By Andrew J

Oct 17, 2015

W

By Joan E F

Sep 01, 2015

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By David D

Aug 06, 2017

One may surprise oneself in being interested in taking such a course. My experience with this course is highly positive. You learn world history in general over the last 1000 years plus a glimpse into earlier times as shaped by war.

I would say one becomes convinced of the merits of war in shaping society into larger, stable entities and actually encouraging peace and prosperity. Who would have agreed to that before taking this course! Bravo.

By Hélio C B

Oct 02, 2015

The passion of Prof. Centeno is contaminating, some of the issues pointed were somewhat new (I have a circle of friends from military profession) and definitely the connection of cultural basis of the society and its capacity to, and way of, fight a war is something that will change my way to see the results of these events in the future.

Thank you very much for this initiative.

By Itzhak G

Sep 10, 2015

Very interesting course. The first few weeks are little beat boring, discussing some features that are obvious, but as the course continues the questions become more untresting, especially those which concern war with politics. As a whole it is a very good course, which gives the student a broad understandung of the issue. recommended!!

By Chooi C Y

Jan 25, 2016

A fresh perspective to see the relation between wars and our societies. The notion that wars are always bad and to be avoided is challenged, and seemingly controversial idea of wars bringing benefit to the societies (at a cost) is discussed, quite convincingly.

By Paul F H

Oct 19, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed the course. I think I must have virtually done it on my own as there were no other interventions, certainly in recent weeks. A very thought provoking course and all credit to the Professor and those who helped him put the course together.

By GHOUSE B A

Dec 22, 2015

Specified subject and well explained view on WAR. Was also able to understand what are the other factors that for war. Being a Research and explorer this was one of the best learning that I had in 2015.

Thank you so much,

By Rubén A B P

Sep 01, 2015

An extremely interesting course, full of fascinating sociologycal and historical topics!

The only thing that wasn't that good about it was the difficulty to get some of books the instructor mentioned.

By Clifford L B

Jul 16, 2016

A different perspective of war that made me think very differently about the whole process and the reactions of people involved in any form of confrontational situation

By Gregory W C

Mar 14, 2016

Solid presentation of ideas that SHOULD be considered before entering a war -- but sadly are usually ignored in the emotions of a mindless mass moment.

By Belle S

Jun 28, 2016

Good coverage and interesting lectures that provides a good history of all the warfare and on the social psychology. A fresh perspective I guess.

By Peter T

Feb 24, 2016

A good course and very interesting perspectives. A pity Princeton does not issue certificates.

By Derek D V

Sep 06, 2016

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

By Krishaan K

Feb 03, 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 08, 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 04, 2015

Good course, with a lot of information.