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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Conscience and Conviction: The Case for Civil Disobedience


ISBN13: 9780199592944
Published: October 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £38.99
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780198759461



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Arguing for the moral and legal defensibility of conscientious disobedience, and particularly civil disobedience, this book first examines the morality of conscience and conscientiousness and then the legality of conscientious breach of law.

Part I focuses on the morality of conscience and conscientiousness. These are two comparatively neglected concepts in contemporary moral and legal theory, though they are central to practical debates about the ethics of war, healthcare, and political participation, among others. The book disambiguates the descriptive notion of conscientiousness as sincere conviction from the evaluative notion of conscience as genuine moral responsiveness.

This gives rise to a communicative principle of conscientiousness (CPC), according to which sincere moral conviction requires not only that we act consistently with our beliefs and make universal moral judgements, but also that we not seek to evade the consequences of doing so and be willing to communicate our convictions to others.

The CPC informs the ensuing discussion of persons' rights and duties within a liberal democracy. In contrast with standard liberal theorizing, the book shows that people who engage in the communicative practice of suitably constrained civil disobedience have a better claim to a moral right to conscientious action than do people who engage in non-communicative, private, or evasive 'conscientious' objection.

Part II argues that civil disobedience is generally more defensible than personal disobedience. The book explores two putative legal defences - a demands-of-conviction defence and a necessity defence - and argues that each applies more readily to civil disobedience than to personal disobedience. The book responds to concerns about strategic-action, democracy, competition of values, and proportionality, all of which disregard the communicative nature of sincere conviction and underestimate the capacity of democratic law to recognise the legitimacy and importance of values other than literal compliance with the law.

The book concludes by highlighting a parallel between the communicative aims of civil disobedience and the communicative aims of lawful punishment. Only the former may claim to have dialogue ambitions, which raises difficulties for the justifiability of punishing civil disobedience. Oxford Legal Philosophy publishes the best new work in philosophically-oriented legal theory. It commissions and solicits monographs in all branches of the subject, including works on philosophical issues in all areas of public and private law, and in the national, transnational, and international realms; studies of the nature of law, legal institutions, and legal reasoning; treatments of problems in political morality as they bear on law; and explorations in the nature and development of legal philosophy itself.

The series represents diverse traditions of thought but always with an emphasis on rigour and originality. It sets the standard in contemporary jurisprudence.

Subjects:
Jurisprudence
Contents:
PART I: THE MORALITY OF CONSCIENCE
Introduction: Dissent and Disobedience
1. The Nature of Conscience and Conscientiousness
2. Moral Demands of Conscience
3. Moral Rights of Conscience and of Conscientiousness

PART II: THE LEGALITY OF CONSCIENCE
4. The Legal Duty to Break the Law
5. A Demands of Conviction Defence
6. A Necessity Defence
7. Punishment

Series: Oxford Legal Philosophy

Imposing Risk: A Normative Framework ISBN 9780199594054
To be published May 2017
Oxford University Press
£34.99
Law and Morality at War ISBN 9780199687398
To be published January 2017
Oxford University Press
£50.00
The Nature of Legislative Intent ISBN 9780198766209
Published February 2016
Oxford University Press
£19.99
Why Law Matters ISBN 9780198766216
Published October 2015
Oxford University Press
£19.99
Conscience and Conviction: The Case for Civil Disobedience ISBN 9780198759461
Published October 2015
Oxford University Press
£19.99
Why Law Matters ISBN 9780199643271
Published February 2014
Oxford University Press
£36.99
The Ends of Harm: The Moral Foundations of Criminal Law ISBN 9780199681914
Published June 2013
Oxford University Press
£22.49
Conscience and Conviction: The Case for Civil Disobedience (eBook) ISBN 9780191645921
Published October 2012
Oxford University Press
£16.66 + £3.33 VAT
(ePub)
Buy
The Nature of Legislative Intent (eBook) ISBN 9780191645945
Published October 2012
Oxford University Press
£34.16 + £6.83 VAT
(ePub)
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The Nature of Legislative Intent ISBN 9780199646999
Published October 2012
Oxford University Press
£40.99
The Ends of Harm: The Moral Foundations of Criminal Law ISBN 9780199554423
Published September 2011
Oxford University Press
£61.00
The Ends of Harm: The Moral Foundations of Criminal Law (eBook) ISBN 9780191018411
Published September 2011
Oxford University Press
£17.49 + £3.50 VAT
(ePub)
Buy