Volume 14, No 2, Fall 2019 ISSN 1932-1066

Philosophical Foundations of War and World Peace

Fidel Julian Gutiérrez Vivanco

World Philosophical Forum, Peru

[email protected]

Abstract: The essay builds upon Karl Jaspers' understanding of the correlation between inner peace and freedom and truth. Today as ever, it is necessary to define and analyze the foundation of truth. In order to achieve this objective, humans need to utilize a new philosophical method. To interpret and find the solution to global problems, it is necessary to address their universal foundations. Indeed, in this essay I will analyze war and peace by using my philosophical method Princonser, namely the principle of conservation of being. In my view, all events occurring in the universe have two foundations, namely the principle of conservation and the principle of destruction.

Keywords: Jaspers, Karl; war; peace; freedom; truth; principle of conservation; Princonser.


First: No external peace can be maintained without man's inner peace. Second: Peace is solely through freedom. Third: Freedom is solely through truth.1

Following Jaspers' reasoning, truth is the starting point in the discussion of achieving world peace.1 Freedom depends on truth. And freedom depends on inner peace. The inner peace of humanity is the support for external peace. There are two principles in interaction that determine the temporality of beings and entities, namely the principle of conservation and the principle of destruction. War and peace can be analyzed by using my philosophical method, Princonser, namely, the principle of the conservation of being.2

A war deploying the hitherto most destructive of all weapons, that is, the atomic bomb, is based on the principle of destruction. This indicates that this principle guides human behavior toward destruction. On the other hand, a struggle for world peace obeys the principle of conservation. How do these principles determine human behavior? Each principle has its range of action that interacts and inclines toward conservation or destruction. The principle of conservation is built upon universal truth, universal reason, universal morality, and universal wisdom. The principle of destruction is built upon lies, irrationality, immorality, ignorance of universal principles and laws. However, the interaction of these two opposed principles reveals that there is no conservation without destruction, or destruction without conservation. This would lead one to come to the conclusion that the global destruction of humanity is due to a need for preserving the life of other beings on Earth, beings other than humans, since a global war would not have human survivors. Hence, the self-destruction of humanity would only benefit those who can survive in an environment of radioactive contamination. In this way, nature does not lose anything; rather it only seeks a planetary balance.

Upholding the principle of conservation can prevent humans from self-destruction as a species, for that reason, I suggest this allows for engaging in a fruitful reflection to find new ways of solving global conflicts. The principle of conservation is manifested in the law of integration, which as a way of harmonizing with nature and the universe humans must follow. The law of integration is being based on three criteria: (a) affinity to conservation, (b) quantitative proportionality, and (c) qualitative difference. Humanity fulfills two of these conditions: the conservation affinity and the qualitative difference. But it does not comply with quantitative proportionality, therefore, it brings about imbalance, instability, and insecurity. This is the reason for humanity's tendency toward destruction. I will analyze these fundamental aspects that could be the bases for a rational direction of humanity toward world peace.

In what follows I will briefly outline an overview of six aspects that are recognized in Princonser.

The Nature of Conflicts in the World

A basic premise in Princonser is that conflicts in the world can be subdivided into three types: individual conflicts, social conflicts, and global conflicts. Individual conflicts result from destructive interactions between values and anti-values, between truth and falsehood. Social conflicts are destructive interactions between social organizations issuing from ideological, social, economic, and religious differences. Global conflicts are destructive interactions between struggling nations that involve the entire planet.

The essence of conflict consists in the asymmetric interaction between two or more systems in which one is being conserved and the other ones are being destroyed. The solution to a conflict consists in establishing symmetrical interaction; therefore, what is being needful is the integration of the parties in a new system of organization.

Dependencies Regarding War and Peace

War and peace can be characterized with reference to three levels of dependency: individual dependency, social dependency, and spiritual dependency. With regard to individual dependency, it is the individual who is the actor in a war, based on the instrumentalization of the motifs that engage the actor and determine the nature of the conflict. This instrumentalization brings about inner peace of the individual when it is perceived in the context of being a universal truth. Social dependency is present since war depends on the political and economic powers that interact with one another. At this level, the action of leading into war is being planned. To this end intelligence gathered from social, geographical, political, and cultural studies is being used. Hence, social peace depends on the stability of humanity that is taken as a reference point for integrating these studies. Spiritual dependency relates to the fact that peace depends on the stability of the world. The stability of the world, in turn, depends on the stable spiritual system of humanity. A stable spiritual system depends on philosophies that strife toward comprehending universal truth. Ideologies are fed through philosophizing, which is an integral aspect of politics in its dependency upon ideology. The root of war is in philosophies of uncertainty, the surrender into fear and lack of trust. The insecurity of humanity reflects the support of this inconsistent philosophy. An inconsistent philosophy creates a false ideology. A false ideology generates destructive policy.

In my understanding, Karl Jaspers' peace formula is: Truth allows for freedom, which in turn is the precondition for peace. However, this formula has not worked in practice. Even though freedom is preached in many places in the world, nonetheless there are constantly wars. Even though truth is preached in many places in the world, nonetheless the world is ruled by lies. Therefore, I developed the philosophy of Princonser that provides a solution. The Princonser formula of world peace is as follows:

The principle and universal law cause universal truth, which brings about the integration of humanity and in its ultimate consequence world peace. Truth has an ontological foundation, as the real bases of universal truth are the universal principles and the universal law that belong to nature, the universe, and totality. Thus, world peace is only the result of an adaptation to the principles and laws of the universe. Apart from universal principles and laws, every ideal created by humans to order life on earth, have failed because of a lack of certainty. Certainty does not create the human being, certainty is the adequacy attained with respect to universal principles and the law of the universe.

In short, there are four levels of hierarchical dependency on peace as a universal value. From the principles and universal law (ontological dependency) depends universal truth (epistemological dependency), from which, in turn, depends the integration of humanity (anthropo-philosophical dependency), from which, in turn, depends world peace (axiological dependency).

The Interaction of War and Peace

Conflicts are based upon the law of interaction that govern conflicting entities. When taken ontologically, they can be divided into two kinds, namely into symmetric and asymmetric interaction of their entities.

Symmetric interaction is the foundation for the formation of stable systems, and it is the basis for integration and lasting peace. Conflicts with symmetric interaction take place in a state of peace that leads to the integration and formation of a stable system. A stable system is the basis for the internal peace of an entity. When internal peace is manifest at a global level, the peace of humanity is thereby guaranteed.

Asymmetric interaction implies the destruction of some entities and the conservation of others, where some die and others live. Conflicts with asymmetric interaction have two stages, namely an intention stage, and an action stage. In the stage of intention, the end is power, which implies an interaction marked by subjugation, domination, and annexation with its corresponding reaction of defense and resistance. The principle of destruction is a means, whose end is the preservation of a part of the conflict to justify the benefits gained and to downplay the suffrage placed upon others. War is a means whose end is to acquire the desired power. When the objective of war involves the preservation of a society or the world in general, war is justified; however, if the objective of war involves the destruction of a society or of humanity, war is not justified and eventually the preservative forces will win the war.

Integration and Peace

Integration of entities into the fabric of life involves three levels of manifestation: individual integration, social integration, and integration of humanity. Individual integration requires the cessation of personal conflicts and the acceptance of coexistence. The individual's integration is ascending, beginning with the integration into the family, this being followed by the one by the society, then by the one by humanity and nature. The last level of integration is the integration into totality, in which all conflicts cease.

Social integration is the abandonment of social conflicts and the acceptance of social coexistence with a social identity. Social integration has as reference point the integration of humanity. The elements of a society are individuals. For the achievement of social integration it is necessary that individuals be trained with respect to the seeking of it. In this sense, the content, which is the individuals, determines the form, which is society. What guarantees the integration of society is the provision of an education for integration. Education for integration is at the same time the application of a philosophy of integration. A philosophy for integration responds to the principle of conservation of humanity. The principle of conservation is inherent in the existence of the entities of the universe.

The integration of humanity is the foundation of internal peace. When the members of a society are spiritually integrated through universal values, they acquire a universal identity. The universal identity reflects the integration of the human being into the totality. The integration of humanity is an ideal, which requires for its realization both a philosophy of integration and an education for universal integration. Integration is a universal law that responds to the principle of conservation. In this way the integration of humanity is an adaptation to universal principles and laws. Thus, the steps to take for achieving world peace are as follows: (a) ontological integration, which is identifying the universal principle and law, (b) epistemological integration, which is comprehending universal truth, (c) anthropo-philosophical integration, which is the integration of humanity, and (d) axiological integration, which leads to world peace. In other words, world peace is the result of the integration of the philosophical, ontological, epistemological, anthropo-philosophical and axiological foundations.

The Temporality of War and Peace

The temporality of war gives rise to peace. The temporality of peace gives rise to war. War is a state of disintegration and peace is a state of integration. For the universe, disintegration responds to the principle of destruction, while integration responds to the principle of conservation. The path toward the conservation or destruction that the human being can choose depends on the knowledge of said principles. It can be said that due to ignorance of universal principles and laws, humanity today continues to follow the path toward self-destruction. The instability of humanity is the product of uncertainty. Uncertainty is the product of ignorance of universal truths. Universal truths are based on universal principles and laws. The world has gone through two world wars because of instability and uncertainty. The uncertainty of humans remains latent. Therefore, a third world war is still latent. A third world war implies the complete self-destruction of humanity; therefore, it cannot be thrown into the abyss of annihilation without allowing for an alternative of conservation. Uncertainty is not part of the nature of human beings, so war is not inherent in human nature either. For this reason is uncertainty subject to temporality.

The certainty and security of humanity depends on the integration of humans into totality, which in turn depends on the philosophical foundations of integration. The same pattern as noted above with regard to integration also applies here: (a) ontological foundation, which is identifying the universal principle and law, (b) epistemological foundation, which is comprehending universal truth, (c) anthropo-philosophical foundation, which is the integration of humanity, and (d) axiological foundation, which leads to world peace.

The Disintegration of War and Peace

The disintegration of war brings about peace. The disintegration of peace brings about war. Since war is the product of uncertainty, it becomes disintegrated by means of universal truth. With the universal truth, a human being builds inner peace. The disintegration of war, in the form of a consequence of the disintegration of uncertainty, is the product of an education for integration. An education for integration is based on a philosophy of integration. Thus, the foundation of peace is philosophy and the means to build peace is education.

Education that is in tune with the integration of global citizenship is the way to solve global uncertainty. The road to peace consists in the education of global citizenship. For global citizenship education it is necessary to train teachers with universal wisdom. The training of teachers with universal wisdom depends on the philosophy for the integration of humanity. The integration of humanity depends on the spiritual integration of humans into the totality of existence. This is the challenge of the philosophy of the twenty-first century.

Regarding the content and form of a world war I wish to point out that the content of a world war is uncertainty and global insecurity. The form of the systemic support of instability, insecurity, and uncertainty is the global asymmetry between wealth and poverty. Regarding the content and form of world peace it needs to be states that the content of world peace is global citizenship with universal wisdom. The form of the systemic support of world peace is the Universal State of the Earth, a proposal of supranational citizenship presented by the World Philosophical Forum (WPF).3


1. War is the expression of the principle of destruction and peace is the expression of the principle of conservation. These two interacting principles generate war and peace.

2. World war depends on global insecurity, and world peace depends on the integration of humanity. Through universal education the integration of humanity is made possible.

3. A world war involves humanity within the three levels of integration of the human being. The internal war of a nation involves a society, and personal conflicts involve the individual.

4. If the root causes of a world war are the uncertainty and insecurity of mankind, then the solution is the path of integration toward the totality. Bringing about this integration is a philosophical challenge.

5. The integration of man into the totality depends on universal education pursuing the aim of the formation of citizenship that relies on universal wisdom. Universal education at the same time needs a new philosophy for the integration of humanity.herefore, the solution of the problems of humanity depends on philosophy.

11 Karl Jaspers, "Dankesrede: Wahrheit, Freiheit und Friede," Existenz 9/2 (Fall 2014), 1-12, here p. 2.

A version of this essay was first presented at the Eighth International Karl Jaspers World Conference: Karl Jaspers in a Global Context, in conjunction with the XXIVth World Congress of Philosophy, August 13–20, 2018, Beijing.

2 I presented details about the philosophical method Princonser at the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy, Athens 2013.

3 Online