Contingent Pacifism and Selective Refusal

Lawrence May

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    During the Vietnam War, many young adults in the United States filed for selective conscientious objector status when they were drafted to serve in the military. They were not opposed to all wars but objected to the Vietnam War on moral grounds. Some of them relied, at least in part, on Just War criteria to show that the war was initiated unjustly, since the war was not a matter of U.S. self-defense, and was being waged unjustly as well'especially with the use of such chemical weapons as Agent Orange. Most of these young adults did not consider themselves pacifists since they recognized that a war like World War II might be justified. They did not see that there could be a form of pacifism that fit with our selective refusal to fight. In more recent years, a relatively new view has arisen'contingent pacifism. In this paper, I will explain what selective refusal is based in and how it might fit with the emerging theory of contingent pacifism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-18
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Social Philosophy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

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