Vol. 43 No. 2 (2023): War: Another Form of Nihilism?

War and Nihilism: Towards a Beyond Reason

Alfredo Rocha de La Torre
Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia

Published 2023-12-19


  • war,
  • reason,
  • calculative thinking,
  • ontology of war,
  • Levinas

How to Cite

Rocha de La Torre, A. (2023). War and Nihilism: Towards a Beyond Reason. Teoria. Rivista Di Filosofia, 43(2), 133–150. https://doi.org/10.4454/teoria.v43i2.234


This paper addresses the phenomenon of war in countercurrent to the explanation of its cause in irrationality, result of the negation of the primacy of reason. It is then claimed that it is precisely reason, specifically strategic and calculative reason, that is the cause of the armed processes of destruction ofthe Other. In support of this thesis, the author refers to Clausewitz’s reading about war and turns to Levinas to point out how the origin of war is “metaphysical”: the attempt to tear down the ontological status of the Other, to consider it from the perspective of a subject that gives meaning from language that designates it and from the gaze that configures “forms”. The proposal is, then, to promote a “beyond the reason” that means a “beyond the war”, overcoming the definition and configuration of Other from the imposing gaze of the Subjectum.