Law-Breaking and Theories of Resistance

November 4, 2017
Department of Philosophy, Binghamton University/State University of New York

United States

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Keynote speakers:

Gabriel Rockhill
Villanova University

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When is an act of political resistance justified? At minimum, it seems to require that the norms relevant to the act of the resistance must lack the moral authority required to demand compliance. But when does this occur? When norms lose their authority, are all forms of resistance justified? If there are limits to what kinds of resistance are permissible, how could they be determined? Might one resist by participating in an unjust system, but doing so in a deliberately inefficacious fashion? Alternatively, what can be said of methods of resistance that are intended to be effective, but fail to be so? Or, related, what likelihood of success is necessary (if any) in order for an act of resistance to be justified?

This conference aims to consider these and other questions related to political resistance. We welcome any papers which explore normative issues related to such questions. In this context, the contributions can cover, among others, the following topics:

•                Civil disobedience

•                Conscientious objection

•                Complicity with status quo

•                Solidarity

•                Violent disobedience

•                Strategic foot-dragging

•                When and how to resist in a nearly just democracy

•                The moral authority of democracy

•                Small acts of rebellion

•                Distribution of burdens associated with an act of resistance

Please submit abstracts or papers for consideration to by September 15, 2017. Acceptance notifications will be sent out by September 20. 

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