Published Online: 1 FEB 2013
Copyright © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
The International Encyclopedia of Ethics
How to Cite
Hawk, W. J. 2013. Pacifism. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics.
- Published Online: 1 FEB 2013
Pacifism involves a number of related moral positions, endorsed for different reasons, often evoking powerful emotional responses. To understand pacifism, we need to identify what pacifism is, or what pacifisms there are, by (1) looking at pacifism's core meaning, etymology, uses, near neighbors, and relationship to just war theory; (2) distinguishing absolute versus contingent pacifism; (3) categorizing pacifism's chief motivators such as nonviolence, nonkilling, moral autonomy, libertarianism, nuclear war, and religious teachings; (4) highlighting pacifism's role in international relations in the United Nations, pacifist nations, the human rights debate, and legal standing as conscientious objectors; and (5) articulating and responding to pacifism's perennial criticisms.
- legal and political;
- practical (applied) ethics