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Conscience and Conviction
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Conscience and Conviction: The Case for Civil Disobedience

Kimberley Brownlee


This book shows that civil disobedience is more defensible than private conscientious objection. Part I distinguishes conviction from conscience, shedding light on the former as something non-evasive and communicative, and on the latter as something much richer, namely, genuine moral responsiveness. Each of these concepts informs a distinct argument for civil disobedience. The conviction argument shows that, as a constrained, communicative practice, civil disobedience has a better claim than private objection does to the protections that liberal societies give to conscientious dissent. This vi ... More

Keywords: civil disobedience, conscience, conscientious objection, demands-of-conviction defence, democracy, dissent, necessity defence, punishment, responsibility, rights

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199592944
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592944.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kimberley Brownlee, author
Associate Professor of Legal and Moral Philosophy, University of Warwick

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