Although the issue of civil disobedience has been discussed as early as 399 B.C., this topic continues to be at the center of much recent debate in the wake of events such as Tiananmen Square and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. "Civil Disobedience in" "Focus" assembles all the basic materials, both classic and contemporary, needed for the philosophical assessment of this controversial subject.
The first part of this work explores the three most influential classic arguments: Plato in the "Crito," Thoreau in the 1840s, and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s. The second part of this book shifts to a contemporary philosophical discussion setting forth the most important reflections by a number of today's leading thinkers. Included is John Rawls's definition and justification of civil disobedience in liberal democracy which has provoked much dicussion. The other essays, written by contemporary British and American thinkers, bring into sharp relief the issues -- conceptual, normative, and political -- raised in the classic arguments.
A stimulating edition, "Civil Disobedience in" "Focus" will be invaluable to students of ethics, social/political philosophy, and philosophy of law, as well as to activists.