Download The Scientific Way of Warfare: Order and Chaos on the by Antoine J. Bousquet PDF

By Antoine J. Bousquet

Starting with the medical Revolution and concluding with modern day terrorist networks, Antoine J. Bousquet advances a unique historical past of clinical method within the context of the battlefield. for hundreds of years, clinical conceptual frameworks were utilized to theories of warfare, quite with the discovery of such influential applied sciences because the clock, the engine, and the pc. Conversely, many clinical advancements were encouraged or conditioned via the event of battle, specifically within the wake of the extraordinary technological and business attempt of global struggle II. Marked by means of an more and more tight symbiosis among know-how, technological know-how, and clash, the structure and perpetuation of this clinical method of struggle are top understood as an test by way of the nation to show violent aggression right into a rational tool of coverage. In his research, Bousquet explores the relative merits (such as a distinct chain of command to shield using nuclear guns) and decentralizing (such because the versatile networks that attach insurgents) army affairs. He then follows with particular medical methods to struggle: mechanistic, thermodynamic, cybernetic, and "chaoplexic," a network-centric thought allied with the non-linear sciences. (Spring 2010)

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Extra resources for The Scientific Way of Warfare: Order and Chaos on the Battlefields of Modernity (Columbia Hurst)

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Geometry and the newly discovered laws of motion were widely applied to improve fortifications and ballistics, but in the field the tendency was towards shaping armies into giant clockwork mechanisms . In an age in which the state of firearms technology meant its effects on the battlefield were maximised through coordinated volleys, and with the possibility of communications highly restricted once engagement with the enemy had begun, troops were heavily drilled into marching in step according to rigid tactical deployments and performing synchronised firing and reloading cycles at the highest possible tempo.

2 Patrick ]. ) , Win; Society and Enlightenment: 1he Works o/General Lloyd (Leiden: Brill, 2005), p. 385. 37 SCIENTIFIC WAY OF WARFARE predictability science sought to uncover in the workings of the universe. What men took to be a fundamental truth about the nature of the world simultaneously became a powerful model for the organisation of human affairs. Emulation of the virtues of clockwork in military affairs was perhaps never more obvious than in the organisation and doctrine of Frederick the Great's Prussian army.

9 This conceptual shift would allow the clockwork metaphor to blossom until it formed a centrepiece of the emerging philosophical and scientific worldview of mechanism. The Clo ckwo rk Univ erse: Th e Asc enda n cy of the M echa nistic Wo rldview The clockwork "abstract machine" is ever-present in the European scientific literature of the sixteenth to early eighteenth centuries with its metaphorical effects resonating through scientific and philosophical discourses. First, it served as an instrument of demystification by dem­ onstrating how apparently inexplicable motion could be accounted for by a dissimulated assemblage of cogs, weights and springs rather than by a supernatural and/or unknowable force.

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