The Monist 101 (2):199-215 (2018)

Authors
Patrick Taylor Smith
University of Twente
Abstract
Questions about dirty hands have often focused on legitimate, secure leaders deciding whether to violate important deontological principles or the rules of interpersonal morality. The purpose of this paper is to show that revolutionaries have dirty hands; revolutionaries do wrong by engaging in unilateral usurpation of the existing system with the hope that latter benefits will justify their actions. Yet, once the revolution securely generates improvements for the common good, the initial usurpation becomes increasingly irrelevant to judgments of the new government’s legitimacy. The paper argues that only retroactive justification—where later success forces opponents and advocates to reinterpret the wrongness of the initial action—can fully capture the complex moral dynamics of revolutions.
Keywords Revolution  Political Philosophy  Dirty Hands  non-ideal
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/monist/onx043
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,968
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Political Action: The Problem of Dirty Hands.Michael Walzer - 1973 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (2):160-180.
Reason, Right, and Revolution: Kant and Locke.Katrin Flikschuh - 2008 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (4):375-404.
There is No Dilemma of Dirty Hands.Kai Nielsen - 2007 - In Igor Primoratz (ed.), Politics and Morality. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 1-7.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Moral Reality of Revolution.Courtney Scott Campbell - 1988 - Dissertation, University of Virginia
Punishing 'Dirty Hands'—Three Justifications.Stephen Wijze - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (4):879-897.
The Moral, the Personal and the Political.Garrett Cullity - 2008 - In Igor Primoratz (ed.), Politics and Morality. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 54-75.
Tragic-Remorse–the Anguish of Dirty Hands.Stephen De Wijze - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5):453-471.
Tragic-Remorse — the Anguish of Dirty Hands.Stephen De Wijze - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5):453 - 471.
Political Obligation, Dirty Hands and Torture; A Moral Evaluation.H. van Erp - 2013 - South African Journal of Philosophy 32 (1):109-122.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-03-03

Total views
19 ( #548,251 of 2,433,288 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #462,722 of 2,433,288 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes