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.
Using PhilPapers from home?
Create an account to enable off-campus access through your institution's proxy server.
Monitor this page
Be alerted of all new items appearing on this page. Choose how you want to monitor it:
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers