Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Confronting InjusticeMoral History and Political Theory$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Lyons

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199662555

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662555.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 October 2019

Normal Law, Nearly Just Societies, and Other Myths of Legal Theory 1

Normal Law, Nearly Just Societies, and Other Myths of Legal Theory 1

Chapter:
(p.112) 6 Normal Law, Nearly Just Societies, and Other Myths of Legal Theory1
Source:
Confronting Injustice
Author(s):

David Lyons

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662555.003.0007

Most philosophical work on civil disobedience assumes that peaceful, conscientious but unlawful protest against unjust law requires moral justification, because of a comprehensive moral obligation to obey the law, and that practitioners of civil disobedience agree because they regard the prevailing systems as “reasonably just.” By examining the views of the most respected and articulate practitioners of civil disobedience and the circumstances of their political activities, this paper argues that the assumptions of the literature are seriously mistaken and differ from the views of Henry David Thoreau, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr., who expressed eminently reasonable, radical criticism of their respective societies, dominated as the latter were by, respectively, chattel slavery, brutally oppressive colonial rule, and Jim Crow. The paper ends with reflections on the moral myopia of the civil disobedience literature.

Keywords:   legal theory, legal theorists, political obligation, legal obligation, injustice, political history

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .