Hans J. Morgenthau





Hans J. Morgenthau

Author profile


born
in Coburg, Germany
February 17, 1904

died
July 19, 1980

gender
male


About this author

Leading twentieth-century figures in the study of international politics. He made landmark contributions to international relations theory and the study of international law, and his Politics Among Nations, first published in 1948, went through many editions and was for decades the most-used textbook in its field in U.S. universities. In addition, Morgenthau wrote widely about international politics and U.S. foreign policy for general-circulation publications such as The New Leader, Commentary, Worldview, and The New Republic. He knew and corresponded with many of the leading intellectuals and writers of his era, such as Reinhold Niebuhr, George F. Kennan, and Hannah Arendt. At one point in the early Cold War, Morgenthau was a consultant to ...more


Average rating: 4.06 · 496 ratings · 24 reviews · 27 distinct works · Similar authors
Politics Among Nations
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Truth and Power: Essays of ...
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In Defense of the National ...
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Science: Servant or Master?
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More books by Hans J. Morgenthau…
“International politics, like all politics, is a struggle for power”
Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations

“Political realism refuses to identify the moral aspirations of a particular nation with the moral laws that govern the universe. As it distinguishes between truth and opinion, so it distinguishes between truth and idolatry. All nations are tempted — and few have been able to resist the power for long — to clothe their own aspirations and action in the moral purposes of the universe. To know that nations are subject to the moral law is one thing, while to pretend to know with certainty what is good and evil in the relations among nations is quite another. There is a world of difference between the belief that all nations stand under the judgment of God, inscrutable to the human mind, and the blasphemous conviction that God is always on one's side and that what one wills oneself cannot fail to be willed by God also.”
Hans J. Morgenthau

“However much the theory of political realism may have been misunderstood and misinterpreted, there is no gainsaying its distinctive intellectual and moral attitude to matters political.
Intellectually, the political realist maintains the autonomy of the political sphere, as the economist, the lawyer, the moralist maintain theirs. He thinks in terms of interest defined as power, as the economist thinks in terms of interest defined as wealth; the lawyer, of the conformity of action with legal rules; the moralist, of the conformity of action with moral principles. The economist asks: "How does this policy affect the wealth of society, or a segment of it?" The lawyer asks: "Is this policy in accord with the rules of law?" The moralist asks: "Is this policy in accord with moral principles?" And the political realist asks: "How does this policy affect the power of the nation?”
Hans J. Morgenthau