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NCJ Number: 121690 Find in a Library
Title: Symposium on Civil Disobedience (From Civil Disobedience, P 151-182, 1989, Paul Harris, ed. -- See NCJ-121683)
Author(s): J Feinberg; B Sievers
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 32
Sponsoring Agency: University Press of America
Lanham, MD 20706
Sale Source: University Press of America
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Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An analysis by Joel Feinberg of the justification for civil disobedience accompanies a critique by Bruce Sievers.
Abstract: Feinberg argues that the concept of civil disobedience has changed over time and that currently it refers to actions designed to protest the misuse of authority in a society with a constitution that is acknowledged to be just and with a democratic parliament as well as valid laws. He also argues that an analysis of the philosophic concept of "prima facie obligation" shows that the individual does not have a moral obligation to obey the law. Thus, the moral problem in civil disobedience is not the choice between the higher moral cause and a moral obligation to obedience. In addition, opponents of civil disobedience should avoid moral arguments and focus on the contention that all properly enacted law is valid law. In his critique, Sievers argues that Feinberg's thesis actually harms the case for civil disobedience and that the discussion should not focus on individual ethical choice, but on the concept of the good society and the issue of who has the right to decide about appropriate acts. 23 reference notes.
Main Term(s): Civil disobedience
Index Term(s): Citizen grievances; Legal doctrines
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