Pacifism, Supreme Emergency, and Moral Tragedy

Social Theory and Practice 40 (4):631-648 (2014)
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This paper develops and defends a new way for pacifists to deal with the problem of supreme emergency. In it I argue that a supreme emergency in which some disaster can only be prevented by modern war is a morally tragic situation. This means that a leader faced with a supreme emergency acts unjustifiably in both allowing something terrible to occur, as well as in waging war to prevent it. I also argue that we may have cause to excuse from wrongdoing the agents who must choose an unjustified action in a supreme emergency.



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Nicholas Parkin
Peace Experiment

Citations of this work

Moral Tragedy Pacifism.Nicholas Parkin - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (3):259-278.
Moral Excuse to the Pacifist's Rescue.Blake Hereth - 2023 - Journal of Pacifism and Nonviolence:1-32.
Non-violent Resistance and Last Resort.Nicholas Parkin - 2016 - Journal of Military Ethics 15 (4):259-274.

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References found in this work

I.—A Plea for Excuses: The Presidential Address.J. L. Austin - 1957 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57 (1):1-30.
Moral tragedies, supreme emergencies and national-defence.Daniel Statman - 2006 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (3):311–322.

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