Graduate studies at Western
Dissertation, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2007)
|Abstract||In Western countries conscientious objections are usually accommodated in various ways, at least in certain areas (military conscription, medicine) and to some extent. They appear to be regarded as fundamentally different from other kinds of objection. But why? Some people question the legitimacy of conscientious objection in certain contexts, or to certain matters. Thereby, they indirectly challenge the legitimacy of conscientious objection as such. The historical development of thought on <span class='Hi'>conscience</span> has exacerbated the situation. For reasons such as these, a search for a philosophical foundation of conscientious objection was called for. In this study it is argued that conscientious objections cannot be understood as long as <span class='Hi'>conscience</span> is misunderstood. Hence, part I provides a new interpretation of the historical development of expressions of <span class='Hi'>conscience</span> and thought on the subject, informed by a novel approach to <span class='Hi'>conscience</span> as a symbol. Part II is concerned with the theory and practice of freedom of <span class='Hi'>conscience</span>. In part III a new approach to conscientious objection is developed, rooted in the symbol-approach to <span class='Hi'>conscience</span>, and both informed by and in contrast with existing theories of conscientious objection.|
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