The Acorn 21 (1-2):21-49 (2021)

Andrew Fiala
California State University, Fresno
This article considers the nonviolent commitment of philosophy, arguing that “methodological nonviolence” is a normative ideal guiding philosophical practice and that rational dialogue is connected with nonviolence. The paper presents a transcendental argument about the form of nonviolent communication. Even when philosophers argue in favor of justified violence, they make such arguments within a nonviolent practice. The argument is grounded in historical references to ways that philosophers have clarified the philosophical commitment to methodological nonviolence, the ideal unity of means and ends, and the ideal community of inquiry, which is a model of positive peace. While Socrates is treated as a paradigmatic example of methodological nonviolence, Tolstoy’s work is presented as a crucial historical turning point from implicit methodological nonviolence to the more explicit forms that may be found in the works of Jane Addams, Mohandas K. Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  General Interest  Social and Political Philosophy
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DOI 10.5840/acorn2021121319
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