Achieving Kyosei in East Asia
Edited by Yoichiro Murakami and Thomas J. Schoenbaum
Chapter 3: In Search of a Grand Theory Against the Current of Skepticism
Ryuichi Yamaoka The objective of this chapter is to envisage a grand theory of peace at a highly abstract level. Peace is a substantive value. Thus, there will likely be objections against this attempt on the ground that we actually need a substantive, rather than an abstract or formal theory of peace. However, this goal has merit because the very idea of peace is so comprehensive in nature that we need such a theoretical insight to cope with this idea at the extremely abstract level. Indeed, we might say that a theory of peace should be a grand theory of peace, if it is to be a truly substantive theory. Moreover, what is now required is to ﬁnd a vision that addresses the conﬂicts between the diﬀerent conceptions of peace as a substantive idea. I will not be so bold as to declare that the following will solve this tough question. I hope my argument will clarify the reason for the necessity of a grand theory and the possibility of upholding this theory despite the diﬃculty of constructing one. 1. A CLASSICAL ATTACK UPON GRAND THEORY In its most famous usage, the idea of “grand theory” has had a pejorative connotation, making the construction of a new grand theory of peace challenging. By recalling this inﬂuential usage, I hope to show what kind of grand theory should not be pursued. In The Sociological Imagination (1959) the American sociologist C. Wright Mills attacked the general trend of...
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