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  1. Environmental Activism and the Fairness of Costs Argument for Uncivil Disobedience.Ten-Herng Lai & Chong-Ming Lim - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    Social movements often impose nontrivial costs on others against their wills. Civil disobedience is no exception. How can social movements in general, and civil disobedience in particular, be justifiable despite this apparent wrong-making feature? We examine an intuitively plausible account – it is fair that everyone should bear the burdens of tackling injustice. We extend this fairness-based argument for civil disobedience to defend some acts of uncivil disobedience. Focusing on uncivil environmental activism – such as ecotage (sabotage with the aim (...)
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  2. Clarifying Our Duties to Resist.Chong-Ming Lim - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1.
    According to a prominent argument, citizens in unjust societies have a duty to resist injustice. The moral and political principles that ground the duty to obey the law in just or nearly just conditions, also ground the duty to resist in unjust conditions. This argument is often applied to a variety of unjust conditions. In this essay, I critically examine this argument, focusing on conditions involving institutionally entrenched and socially normalised injustice. In such conditions, the issue of citizens’ duties to (...)
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  3. Rescue Missions in the Mediterranean and the Legitimacy of the EU’s Border Regime.Hallvard Sandven & Antoinette Scherz - forthcoming - Res Publica:1-20.
    In the last seven years, close to twenty thousand people have died trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Rescue missions by private actors and NGOs have increased because both national measures and measures by the EU’s border control agency, Frontex, are often deemed insufficient. However, such independent rescue missions face increasing persecution from national governments, Italy being one example. This raises the question of how potential migrants and dissenting citizens should act towards the EU border regime. In (...)
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  4. Nonviolent Protesters and Provocations to Violence.Shawn Kaplan - 2022 - Washington University Review of Philosophy 2:170-187.
    In this paper, I examine the ethics of nonviolent protest when a violent response is either foreseen or intended. One central concern is whether protesters, who foresee a violent response but persist, are provoking the violence and whether they are culpable for any eventual harms. A second concern is whether it is permissible to publicize the violent response for political advantage. I begin by distinguishing between two senses of the term provoke: a normative sense where a provocateur knowingly imposes an (...)
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  5. Vigilantism and Political Vision.Susanna Siegel - 2022 - Washington University Review of Philosophy 2:1-42.
    Vigilantism, commonly glossed as “taking the law into one’s own hands,” has been analyzed differently in studies of comparative politics, ethnography, history, and legal theory, but has attracted little attention from philosophers. What can “taking the law into one’s hands” amount to? How does vigilantism relate to mobs, protests, and self-defense? I distinguish between several categories of vigilantism, identify the questions they are most useful for addressing, and offer an analysis on which vigilantism is a kind of political initiative done (...)
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  6. Covert Animal Rescue: Civil Disobedience or Subrevolution?Daniel Weltman - 2022 - Environmental Ethics 44 (1):61-83.
    We should conceive of illegal covert animal rescue as acts of “subrevolution” rather than as civil disobedience. Subrevolutions are revolutions that aim to overthrow some part of the government rather than the entire government. This framework better captures the relevant values than the opposing suggestion that we treat illegal covert animal rescue as civil disobedience. If animals have rights like the right not to be unjustly imprisoned and mistreated, then it does not make sense that an instance of animal rescue (...)
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  7. Kant and the Problem of Unequal Enforcement of Law.Daniel Koltonski - 2021 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 20 (2):188-210.
    Kant infamously opposes not only revolution but also any resistance or disobedience by citizens that aims to compel states to reform themselves. This paper argues that, in fact, the Kantian account of the legitimate state has the resources for a distinctive justification of principled disobedience, including even violent or destructive resistance, that applies to citizens of contemporary Western democracies. When a state fails to enforce the law equally, this lack of equal enforcement can deprive some citizens of the equal assurance (...)
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  8. Civil Disobedience, Costly Signals, and Leveraging Injustice.Ten-Herng Lai - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7:1083-1108.
    Civil disobedience, despite its illegal nature, can sometimes be justified vis-à-vis the duty to obey the law, and, arguably, is thereby not liable to legal punishment. However, adhering to the demands of justice and refraining from punishing justified civil disobedience may lead to a highly problematic theoretical consequence: the debilitation of civil disobedience. This is because, according to the novel analysis I propose, civil disobedience primarily functions as a costly social signal. It is effective by being reliable, reliable by being (...)
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  9. Political Vandalism as Counter‐Speech: A Defense of Defacing and Destroying Tainted Monuments.Ten‐Herng Lai - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):602-616.
    Tainted political symbols ought to be confronted, removed, or at least recontextualized. Despite the best efforts to achieve this, however, official actions on tainted symbols often fail to take place. In such cases, I argue that political vandalism—the unauthorized defacement, destruction, or removal of political symbols—may be morally permissible or even obligatory. This is when, and insofar as, political vandalism serves as fitting counter-speech that undermines the authority of tainted symbols in ways that match their publicity, refuses to let them (...)
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  10. Content Neutrality: A Defense.Joseph Dunne - 2019 - Journal of Ethical Urban Living 2 (1):35-50.
    To date, both the United States federal government and twenty-one individual states have passed Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that aim to protect religious persons from having their sincere beliefs substantially burdened by governmental interests. RFRAs accomplish this by offering a three-pronged exemption test for religious objectors that is satisfied only when (1) an objector has a sincere belief that is being substantially burdened; (2) the government has a very good reason (e.g., health or safety) to interfere; and (3) there is (...)
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  11. Delmas, Candice. A Duty to Resist: When Disobedience Should Be Uncivil. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. 312. $29.95. [REVIEW]Ten-Herng Lai - 2019 - Ethics 129 (4):710-715.
    Delmas successfully guides us to reconsider the traditional “wisdom” of civil disobedience. She also makes a strong case for expanding the notion of political obligation, which has been narrowly construed as mere obedience, to encompass a duty to resist. Principled disobedience, either civil or uncivil, includes a wide range of tools to tackle different forms of injustice, such as education campaigns, peaceful protests, graffiti street art, whistleblowing, vigilante self-defense, and political riots. We may question to what extent the violent disobedience (...)
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  12. Justifying Uncivil Disobedience.Ten-Herng Lai - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy 5:90-114.
    A prominent way of justifying civil disobedience is to postulate a pro tanto duty to obey the law and to argue that the considerations that ground this duty sometimes justify forms of civil disobedience. However, this view entails that certain kinds of uncivil disobedience are also justified. Thus, either a) civil disobedience is never justified or b) uncivil disobedience is sometimes justified. Since a) is implausible, we should accept b). I respond to the objection that this ignores the fact that (...)
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  13. Justifying Prison Breaks as Civil Disobedience.Isaac Shur - 2019 - Aporia 19 (2):14-26.
    I argue that given the persistent injustice present within the Prison Industrial Complex in the United States, many incarcerated individuals would be justified in attempting to escape and that these prison breaks may qualify as acts of civil disobedience. After an introduction in section one, section two offers a critique of the classical liberal conception of civil disobedience envisioned by John Rawls. Contrary to Rawls, I argue that acts of civil disobedience can involve both violence and evasion of punishment, both (...)
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  14. Uncivil Disobedience: Political Commitment and Violence.N. P. Adams - 2018 - Res Publica 24 (4):475-491.
    Standard accounts of civil disobedience include nonviolence as a necessary condition. Here I argue that such accounts are mistaken and that civil disobedience can include violence in many aspects, primarily excepting violence directed at other persons. I base this argument on a novel understanding of civil disobedience: the special character of the practice comes from its combination of condemnation of a political practice with an expressed commitment to the political. The commitment to the political is a commitment to engaging with (...)
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  15. Is Hacktivism the New Civil Disobedience?Candice Delmas - 2018 - Raisons Politiques 69 (1):63-81.
    Is hactivism the new civil disobedience? I argue that most recent hacktivism isn't, and shouldn't be shoehorned into the category of civil disobedience. I sketch instead a broad matrix of electronic resistance, attentive to the many shapes and goals of hacktivism and I locate five clusters on it, briefly sketching possible dimensions of normative assessment for each: vigilantism, whistleblowing, guerrilla communication, electronic humanitarianism, and electronic civil disobedience.
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  16. “Dreamers” and Others: Immigration Protests, Enforcement, and Civil Disobedience.Matthew J. Lister - 2018 - APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy 17 (2):15-17.
    In this short paper I hope to use some ideas drawn from the theory and practice of civil disobedience to address one of the most difficult questions in immigration theory, one rarely addressed by philosophers or other theorists working on the topic: How should we respond to people who violate immigration law? I will start with what I take to be the easiest case for my approach—that of so-called “Dreamers”—unauthorized immigrants in the US who were brought to this country while (...)
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  17. Is Bossnapping Uncivil?Piero Moraro - 2018 - Raisons Politiques 1 (69):29-44.
    This paper considers the boundaries of "civility" in civil disobedience, by focusing on an extreme form of protest, namely, bossnapping. The latter involves workers 'kidnapping' their bosses, in order to force them to listen to their grievances. I argue that, notwithstanding its use of force, bossnapping may, under some circumstances, fulfil the requirements of a "civil" act of disobedience.
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  18. Secrecy, Transparency and Government Whistleblowing.William H. Harwood - 2017 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 43 (2):164-186.
    In the first part of the 21st century, the complicated relationship between transparency and security reached a boiling point with revelations of extra-judicial CIA activities, near universal NSA monitoring and unprecedented whistleblowing – and prosecution of whistleblowers under the Espionage Act. This article examines the dual necessities of security and transparency for any democracy, and the manner in which whistleblowers radically saddle this Janus-faced relationship. Then I will move to contemporary examples of whistleblowing, showing how and why some prove more (...)
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  19. The South African Student/Worker Uprisings in Light of Just War Theory.Thaddeus Metz - 2016 - In Susan Booysen (ed.), FeesMustFall: Student Revolt, Decolonisation and Governance in South Africa. Wits University Press. pp. 292-308.
    I critically examine the South African university student and worker protests of 2015/2016 in light of moral principles governing the use of force that are largely uncontested in both the contemporary Western and African philosophies of just war, violence and threats. Amongst these principles are: “discrimination”, according to which force should be directed not towards innocent bystanders but instead should target those particularly responsible for injustice; “likely success”, meaning that, instead of being counter-productive, the use of force must be reasonably (...)
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  20. Dorothy Day’s Pursuit of Public Peace Through Word and Action.Gail Presbey - 2014 - In Greg Moses & Gail Presbey (eds.), Peace Philosophy and Public Life: Commitments, Crises, and Concepts for Engaged Thinking. Amsterdam: Rodopi. pp. 17-40.
    A co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, its newspaper, and hospitality houses, the writer Dorothy Day promoted public peace nationally and internationally as a journalist, an organizer of public protests, and a builder of associational communities. Drawing upon Hannah Arendt’s conceptions of the role of speech and action in creating the public realm, this paper focuses on several of Day’s most controversial public positions: her leadership of non-cooperation against Civil Defense drills intended to prepare New York City residents to survive (...)
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  21. Civil Disobedience in a Distorted Public Sphere.Martin Blaakman - 2012 - Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy (3):27-36.
    Rawls’s notion of civil disobedience, which still dominates the literature on this subject, comprises at least these three characteristics: it involves breaking the law, is non-violent and public. But implicit in this notion is a certain tension: it shows pessisimism about the proper functioning of the public sphere as earlier normal appeals have failed, but it also displays a certain optimism about its proper functioning as it assumes that civil disobedience may be effective. In my paper I argue that Rawls (...)
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  22. Hegel on Justified Disobedience.Mark Tunick - 1998 - Political Theory 26 (4):514-535.
    Hegel for the most part insists we support existing practices: they have endured, have socialized us, are our home. At times Hegel seems to demand conformity, to leave no room for dissent or disobedience. Hegel gives great weight to the authority of the state and of custom. But Hegel does not leave the individual confronted with an unjust state powerless. To Hegel, we are obligated to obey the law if we are at home in the state, if its practices, institutions (...)
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  23. Nonviolenza.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 1996 - In Enciclopedia della Filosofia e delle Scienze Umane.
    A short reconstruction of the birth and development of the doctrine of non-violence.
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