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Conscience and ConvictionThe Case for Civil Disobedience$
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Kimberley Brownlee

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199592944

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592944.001.0001

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(p.15) 1 Conviction
Conscience and Conviction

Kimberley Brownlee

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops and defends a communicative principle of conscientiousness. To satisfy this principle, four conditions must be met: consistency, universality, non-evasion, and the willingness to engage in dialogue. People who act in civil disobedience generally satisfy the conditions for conscientiousness. People who act in private or, particularly, evasive personal disobedience generally do not. The chapter also disambiguates conscientious conviction from conscience by arguing that the former is a descriptive property marked by sincere and serious, though possibly mistaken, moral commitment, which is a necessary but insufficient condition of the latter. Conscience further requires a good inward knowledge of, and responsiveness to, the inner workings of our own mind and heart.

Keywords:   conscience, conscientiousness, conviction, civil disobedience, assistive disobedience, conscientious objection, communication

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