The Resurrection of Radical Pacifism: A Defense
Hereth, Stephen Blake
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Within the ethics of self-defense, the predominant view is that there are liability justifications for harming. A minority position, which I call radical pacifism, denies that there are liability justifications for harming. This dissertation offers three separate arguments against the predominant view and for the radical pacifist view. The first paper, “Animal Rights Pacifism,” demonstrates how attentiveness to our moral duties to animals generates counterintuitive moral conclusions that can be most plausibly avoided only by appeal to pacifism. The second paper, “Multiple Threats and the Specter of Pacifism,” shows that anti-pacifism is itself radical, since it entails that there can be unlimited liability justifications for harming. The final paper, “Against Self-Defense,” makes use of Nozickian moral side-constraints and defends the existence of the Cavalier Constraint according to which killing ought never to be done with moral ease. The anti-pacifist view allows for the violation of this constraint, however, and is therefore false.
- Philosophy