In War and Peace, the traditional kind of courage – bravery in battle – is often shown to be the result of internal motivations, thoughts, and calculations that have nothing at all to do with wanting to exhibit prowess or find personal glory. On the other hand, we do frequently see smaller, more private expressions of courage, mostly from female characters, and mostly having to do with the choices they make in pursuing or abandoning relationships. Since the book's focus is so often on the way war gives way to peace, it makes sense that these long-term decisions get highlighted.
One of the more distinctive kinds of bravery the book advocates is the courage to experience physical privation and suffering, which sometimes seems to be at odds with the fact that the book clearly advocates physical pleasure as a basic human good.
The book is torn between its clear distaste for war as a solution to political problems and its clear admiration of individual feats of bravery performed in battle.