Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Confronting InjusticeMoral History and Political Theory$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Lyons

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199662555

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662555.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 September 2020

Moral Judgment, Historical Reality, and Civil Disobedience 1

Moral Judgment, Historical Reality, and Civil Disobedience 1

(p.130) 7 Moral Judgment, Historical Reality, and Civil Disobedience1
Confronting Injustice

David Lyons

Oxford University Press

Thoreau’s famous essay on civil disobedience places his own tax resistance within a critique of government in general and the ante‐bellum US government in particular. This essay interprets and defends Thoreau’s conception of political responsibility, including his rejection of a blanket duty to obey and his endorsement of a duty to disobey (the latter an important idea, which is embraced by other prominent and articulate resisters, such as Gandhi and King, but that is neglected in the academic literature on civil disobedience). Given US policies on slavery, its war on Mexican, and its treatment of Native Americans, Thoreau renounced his allegiance to the government. Although he seemed to suggest that one might simply deny complicity in the government’s injustices, he insisted that persons and peoples have an absolute duty to undo the wrongs they have done, whatever the cost

Keywords:   civil disobedience, political obligation, thoreau, gandhi, king, slavery, colonial rule, jim crow

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .