About this topic
Summary

The term ‘pacifism’ is used to describe a range of positions and historical movements, broadly characterised by a general rejection of violence. Positions range from an absolute and principled rejection of violence (such that violence can never be justified), to contingent pacifisms that accept that violence may in principle be justified, but the necessary conditions for its justification cannot be met given existing practices. Furthermore, pacifism can be understood as a personal ethic (including conscientious objection), a critique of predominant political institutions (anti-warism), or as an alternative political theory (with connections to anarchism and feminism). While there is some recent work that attempts to characterise pacifism in terms of the Just War tradition (JWT), pacifism is generally considered an alternative tradition, broadly critical of JWT’s central premises.

Introductions

The Stanford Encyclopedia entry Fiala 2008 is a good introduction to the topic, as is Peter Brock’s historical survey [Brock 1998 Varieties of Pacifism].

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  1. Richard Adams (2013). Moral Autonomy in Australian Legislation and Military Doctrine. Ethics and Global Politics 6 (3):135-154.
    "Australian legislation and military doctrine stipulate that soldiers ‘subjugate their will’ to" "government, and fight in any war the government declares. Neither legislation nor doctrine enables the conscience of soldiers. Together, provisions of legislation and doctrine seem to take soldiers for granted. And, rather than strengthening the military instrument, the convention of legislation and doctrine seems to weaken the democratic foundations upon which the military may be shaped as a force for justice. Denied liberty of their conscience, soldiers are denied (...)
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  2. Robert Pardee Adams (1937). Pacifism in the English Renaissance, 1497-1530. Chicago.
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  3. Andrew Alexandra (2015). Liability, War, and Peace. Philosophical Forum 46 (1):41-53.
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  4. Andrew Alexandra (2003). Political Pacifism. Social Theory and Practice 29 (4):589-606.
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  5. Syed Ameer Ali (ed.) (2012). Peace in the World. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.
    Serious minded writers have always found themselves questioning what is usually taken for granted, and have generally found the task exciting, though vastly under-appreciated. Bertrand Russell found it hard to focus on mathematics and logic by remaining indifferent to social and political discontent around him. His works of prose stand out as a monumental contribution to political discourse and human development. Unlike most of the western philosophers, he questions the basis of western political thought. He discourages aggression, hostility, political and (...)
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  6. Anon (1946). Pacifism and Conscientious Objection. By G. C. Field. (Cambridge University Press. 1945. Pp. Viii + 123. Price 3s. 6d. Net.). [REVIEW] Philosophy 21 (79):172-.
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  7. Iain Atack (2012). Nonviolence in Political Theory. Edinburgh University Press.
    Iain Atack identifies the contribution of nonviolence to political theory through connecting central characteristics of nonviolent action to fundamental debates about the role of power and violence in politics. This in turn provides a platform for going beyond historical and strategic accounts of nonviolence to a deeper understanding of its transformative potential. From Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King to toppled communist regimes in Eastern Europe and pro-democracy movements in Serbia, Georgia and Ukraine, nonviolent action has played a significant role (...)
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  8. Robin Attfield (1988). Pacifism and the Just War: A Study in Applied Philosophy. Philosophical Books 29 (2):103-105.
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  9. Jovan Babić (2013). Pacifism and Moral Integrity. Philosophia 41 (4):1007-1016.
    The paper has three parts. The first is a discussion of the values as goals and means. This is a known Moorean distinction between intrinsic and instrumental values, with one other Moorean item - the doctrine of value wholes. According to this doctrine the value wholes are not simply a summation of their parts, which implies a possibility that two evils might be better than one (e. g. crime + punishment, two evils, are better than either one of them taken (...)
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  10. Allan Bäck & Daeshik Kim (1982). Pacifism and the Eastern Martial Arts. Philosophy East and West 32 (2):177-186.
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  11. Helmut David Baer & Joseph E. Capizzi (2005). Just War Theories Reconsidered: Problems with Prima Facie Duties and the Need for a Political Ethic. Journal of Religious Ethics 33 (1):119-137.
    This essay challenges a "meta-theory" in just war analysis that purports to bridge the divide between just war and pacifism. According to the meta-theory, just war and pacifism share a common presumption against killing that can be overridden only under conditions stipulated by the just war criteria. Proponents of this meta-theory purport that their interpretation leads to ecumenical consensus between "just warriors" and pacifists, and makes the just war theory more effective in reducing recourse to war. Engagement with the new (...)
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  12. Frank Ballard (1915). The Mistakes of Pacifism; or, Why a Christian Can Have Anything to Do with War. Charles H. Kelly.
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  13. Jacob N. Bauer (2014). Gandhian Nonviolence and the Problem of Preferable Violence. Acorn 15 (1):26-32.
    In this article, I argue that Gandhi can prefer violence in cases, but still morally object to all forms of violence. Even though this can seem to be a contradiction, nonetheless, one can prefer an action without thinking that action is morally justified. Next, I explore the objection that preferring a violent act, such as violent self-defense, over a act that is not violent, such as running away, seems to prefer an action that is more violent to one that is (...)
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  14. Rodger Beehler (1972). Pacifism: A Note. Dialogue 11 (04):584-587.
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  15. Raymond A. Belliotti (1995). Are All Modern Wars Morally Wrong? Journal of Social Philosophy 26 (2):17-31.
  16. Martin Benjamin (1973). Pacifism for Pragmatists. Ethics 83 (3):196-213.
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  17. John Bernstein (1974). Pacifism and Rebellion in the Writings of Herman Melville. Folcroft Library Editions.
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  18. Barbara Bleisch & Jean-Daniel Strub (eds.) (2006). Pazifismus: Ideengeschichte, Theorie Und Praxis. Haupt.
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  19. Petar Bojanić (2013). Pacifism: Equipment or Accessory of War? Philosophia 41 (4):1037-1047.
    It is my intention to attempt to define pacifism, in its engagement and concept, as a necessary requisite of war and military action, following a phrase used over a hundred years ago by Franz Rosenzweig when speaking of pacifism as “necessary equipment of war.” I will try to defend the importance of pacifism as an integral part of war (as such, pacifism as a requisite of war ought to shorten the period of war and mitigate destruction) and oppose this concept (...)
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  20. Kathryn Boyle (2002). Christian Pacifism V. Just War: Where Do We Stand? The Australasian Catholic Record 79 (4):411-420.
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  21. Selmer Bringsjord (1989). Christianity and Pacifism. Faith and Philosophy 6 (1):88-94.
    In a recent issue of Faith and Philosophy, James Kellenberger argues that the “ethics of love” aspect of Christianity entails pacifism, In response, I present an argument designed to show that Christian doctrine entails the falsity of pacifism, I go on to show, however, that the spirit of Kellenberger’s point may survive, for perhaps Christ’s teaching regarding “mental sin” prohibits the war-related activity known as nuclear deterrence.
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  22. Peter Brock (2000). Personal Pacifism in Historical Perspective. The Acorn 11 (1):53-61.
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  23. Peter Brock (1998). Varieties of Pacifism: A Survey From Antiquity to the Outset of the Twentieth Century. Syracuse University Press.
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  24. D. L. Cady (1984). Duane L. Cady -- Backing Into Pacifism. Philosophy and Social Criticism 10 (3-4):173-180.
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  25. Duane Cady (2010). From Warism to Pacifism: A Moral Continuum. Temple University Press.
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  26. Duane L. Cady (1994). In Defense of Active Pacifists. Journal of Social Philosophy 25 (2):89-91.
  27. Lisa Sowle Cahill (1994). Love Your Enemies Discipleship, Pacifism, and Just War Theory. Fortress Press.
    Questions of pacifism and just war, which have preoccupied Christian thinkers from time to time over the past 1700 years, are given distinctive treatment in this book as it discusses biblical sources for the questions, builds on historical examples both of just war theory and of pacifism, and shows how Christian pacifism is a live option in many contexts. -/- Lisa Sowle Cahill examines the theological bases of just war theory and pacifism, especially in light of the concept of the (...)
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  28. Mary Whiton Calkins (1917). Militant Pacifism. International Journal of Ethics 28 (1):70-79.
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  29. Aldo Capitini (2011). Lettere, 1941-1963. Carocci.
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  30. J. E. Capizzi (2001). On Behalf of the Neighbor: A Rejection of the Complementarity of Just-War Theory and Pacifism. Studies in Christian Ethics 14 (2):87-108.
  31. Kevin Carnahan (2007). Prophetic Realism: Beyond Militarism and Pacifism in an Age of Terror. By Ronald H. Stone. Heythrop Journal 48 (4):655–657.
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  32. Michael G. Cartwright (2007). Conflicting Interpretations of Christian Pacifism. In John Aloysius Coleman (ed.), Christian Political Ethics. Princeton University Press.
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  33. David K. Chan (2012). Beyond Just War: A Virtue Ethics Approach. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Unlike most books on the ethics of war, this book rejects the 'just war' tradition, proposing a virtue ethics of war to take its place.
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  34. J. Daryl Charles (2005). 6. Between Pacifism and Crusade: Justice and Neighbor Love in the Just-War Tradition. Logos 8 (4).
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  35. Christine Chwaszcza (2008). Review of C. A. J. Coady, Morality and Political Violence. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (6).
  36. John J. Conley (1985). A Certain Just War, A Certain Pacifism. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 60 (2):242-257.
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  37. Bruno Coppieters (2002). The Right to Military Disobedience in Militarism, Pacifism, Realism and Just War Theory. Professional Ethics 10 (2/3/4):181-196.
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  38. Mervyn D'Souza (1978). A Second Look at Aspects of Gandhi's Theory of Non-Violence. Journal of Social Philosophy 9 (2):11-14.
  39. Mervyn Cajetan D'souza (1973). Gandhi's Model of Man and Non-Violence. Dissertation, Saint Louis University
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  40. Mark Y. Davies (1998). The Pacifism Debate in the Hartshorne-Brightman Correspondence. Process Studies 27 (3/4):200-214.
  41. Victoria Davion (1990). Pacifism and Care. Hypatia 5 (1):90 - 100.
    I argue there is no pacifist commitment implied by the practice of mothering, contrary to what Ruddick suggests. Using violence in certain situations is consistent with the goals of this practice. Furthermore, I use Ruddick's valuable analysis of the care for particular individuals involved in this practice to show why pacifism may be incompatible with caring passionately for individuals. If giving up passionate attachments to individuals is necessary for pacifist commitment as Ghandi claims, then the price is too high.
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  42. ĖV Demenchonok (ed.) (2009). Between Global Violence and the Ethics of Peace: Philosophical Perspectives. John Wiley & Sons.
  43. Christopher J. Eberle (2006). Religion, Pacifism, and the Doctrine of Restraint. Journal of Religious Ethics 34 (2):203 - 224.
    The doctrine of restraint is the claim that citizens and legislators ought to restrain themselves from making political decisions solely on religious grounds. That doctrine is normally construed as a general constraint on religious arguments: an exclusively religious rationale "as such" is an inappropriate basis for a political decision, particularly a coercive political decision. However, the most common arguments for the doctrine of restraint fail to show that citizens and legislators ought to obey the doctrine of restraint, as we can (...)
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  44. Daniel Diederich Farmer (2011). Pacifism Without Right and Wrong. Public Affairs Quarterly 25 (1):37-52.
    Moral philosophers generally regard pacifism with disdain. Forty years ago, Jan Narveson called it a "bizarre and vaguely ludicrous" doctrine, and that assessment is, in some form or other, still common today. Few contemporary ethicists self-identify as pacifists, and in peace and war studies, just war theory is now the standard. That standard perpetuates the stereotype of pacifism as naïve and wrongheaded. The only way to make nonviolent commitments respectable under the prevailing view is by subsuming them under just war (...)
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  45. John Ferguson (1956). The Nature of Early Christian Pacifism. Hibbert Journal 55:340.
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  46. Vergilius Ferm (1931). Book Review:Pacifism in the Modern World. Devere Allen. [REVIEW] Ethics 41 (4):526-.
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  47. Andrew Fiala (2009). Pacifism and Just War Theory After 9/11. In Matthew J. Morgan (ed.), The Impact of 9/11 on Religion and Philosophy. Palgrave Macmillan.
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  48. Andrew Fiala, Pacifism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  49. Andrew Fiala (2006). Practical Pacifism,Jus in Bello, and Citizen Responsibility. Ethical Perspectives 13 (4):673-697.
    This article discusses how ordinary citizens might apply principles of jus in bello. It reaches a sceptical conclusion about citizens’ capacity to apply these principles and connects this with a practical approach to pacifism or, what might also be called, just-war pacifism.This discussion is oriented around events in the war in Iraq including the use of cluster bombs and the commission of war crimes. It uses these events to discuss the question of jus in bello and to also address the (...)
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  50. G. C. Field (1943). Some Reflections on Pacifism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 44:43 - 60.
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