Justice, Law, and Violence

Edited by James B. Brady, and Newton Garver
Book Cover

HC: $54.95
EAN: 978-0-87722-843-1
Publication: Oct 91

368 pages

Philosophers examine the role of violence in modem society, particularly its relation to justice


How is it that law at the same time provides among the most sophisticated alternatives to violence and among the most elaborate justifications for violence? The question is the focus of this collection of essays by philosophers from Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, and the United States, representing Anglo-American Analytic as well as Continental schools of thought. In challenging commonly accepted reasons for using violence, the contributors examine its role in modem society and, particularly, its relation to justice.

In Part I, the nature of violence is treated. Essays concern the difference between collective violence and private violence; and the relations of morality, of human nature, and of law to the concept of violence. Part II examines patterns of legitimation or justification, with reference to their application to violence. In Part III, the special problems of punishment, terrorism, and self-defense (violence by battered women) are grappled with.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Issues

Part I: Violence
1. The Idea of Collective Violence – John Ladd
2. Emotiveness and Elusiveness in Definitions of Violence – Robert Holmes
3. Passive Disobedience as Violence – Eike von Savigny
4. Coercion and Violence – Thomas Pogge
5. The Nihilistic Significance of Violence – Sergio Cotta
6. Violence and Communication – Kenneth Baynes

Part II: Law and Legitimation
7. Limits of Legitimation and the Question of Violence – Bernhard Waldenfels
8. The Phenomenological Redescription of Violence – Wojciech Chojna
9. Getting Even – Elizabeth Wolgast
10. The Pursuit of Ideals – Newton Garver
11. Force, Violence, and Law – Jan Narveson
12. Violence, Law, and Basic Rights – Carl Wellman

Part III: Controversial Instances of Allegedly Legitimate Violence
13. Punitive Violence and Its Alternatives – Hugo Adam Bedau
14. Crime and Punishment – André Maury
15. Terrorism, Rights, and Political Goals – Virginia Held
16. The Legitimation of Female Violence – Lance K. Stell

About the Contributors
Index of Names

About the Author(s)

James B. Brady is Associate Professor of Philosophy at State University of New York at Buffalo and also has a degree in law.

Newton Garver is Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy at State University of New York at Buffalo.