Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272):503-520 (2018)

Piero Moraro
Edith Cowan University
Many believe that a citizen who engages in civil disobedience is not exempt from the sanctions that apply to standard law-breaking conduct. Since he is responsible for a deliberate breach of the law, he is also liable to punishment. Focusing on a conception of responsibility as answerability, I argue that a civil disobedient is responsible (i.e. answerable) to his fellows for the charges of wrongdoing, yet he is not liable to punishment merely for breaching the law. To support this claim, I defend an account of political obligation framed in terms of respect for (rather than mere obedience to) the law, and argue that the mere illegality of civil disobedience does not suffice to establish wrongdoing. I then discuss and reject three objections to my argument.
Keywords civil disobedience, punishment, autonomy
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DOI 10.1093/pq/pqx058
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References found in this work BETA

Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Taking Rights Seriously.Ronald Dworkin (ed.) - 1977 - Duckworth.
The Limits of Morality.Shelly Kagan - 1989 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Punishment, Fair Play and the Burdens of Citizenship.Piero Moraro - 2019 - Law and Philosophy 38 (3):289-311.
Must I Accept Prosecution for Civil Disobedience?Daniel Weltman - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (279):410-418.

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