El Pacifismo de Soran Reader Reconsiderado (Soran Reader's Pacifism Reconsidered)

Revista d'Humanitats 6 (2022):114-131 (2022)
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In this article I will offer a reconsideration of Soran Reader’s moral pacifism. I will begin by reconstructing the three main arguments presented by Reader in her article ‘Making Pacifism Plausible’ in the second part of this essay. In the third section, I discuss and evaluate Reader’s arguments and conclude that her moral pacifism is indeed plausible. In the fourth section, I introduce the notion of political pacifism. Moral pacifism is the philosophical thesis that war cannot be morally justified. Political pacifism, in contrast, refers to the political movement that aims to abolish the institution of war to replace it with an institution of peace. My proposal is that we combine moral pacifism and political pacifism in order to show that in today’s world we are faced with a situation of structural injustice with regard to international conflicts between states. In the status quo, international war is the accepted institution to solve conflicts between states. However, according to moral pacifism, war is always morally problematic. I argue that our current political situation is structurally unfair and when we are threatened with an unjust external invasion, we have no morally sound choices for action. Going to war and refusing to fight are both deeply morally problematic options. Without just alternatives, we may end up going to war to protect our territory and children. However, we should resist the temptation to conclude that war can be just, even in these circumstances. In the last section of the article, I conclude that philosophers should stop using all their intellectual energy to provide philosophical justifications for a just war theory (a theory that is widely accepted by contemporary philosophers). Instead, we ought to argue that war is always unjust, and precisely for this reason we should commit to research about how to replace the institution of war with an institution of peace, and think about what would be the most appropriate form for such institution. For these reasons, I believe it is important for us to reconsider Soran Reader’s moral pacifism.

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Paula Satne
University of Leeds


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