The ‘irrationality’ of the arms race

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


This paper considers the four ways that the concept of ‘irrationality’ has been employed by members of the European peace movement in their evaluation of current bloc tensions. Against Bernard Williams who has recently taken issue with the peace movement's alleged tendency to dismiss political realities, the present author argues that the use of the language of irrationality reveals just the opposite orientation. Finally, it is argued that although the language of irrationality constitutes a powerful descriptive and normative instrument, as an explanation of the Cold War it is a nonstarter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-241
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1985
Externally publishedYes


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