An advocate of minimum justified violence and a pacifist engage in a dialogue about the uses and abuses of violence


Two Paths Toward Peace

James W. Child and Donald Scherer

cloth EAN: 978-0-87722-882-0 (ISBN: 0-87722-882-5)
$61.50, Jan 92, Out of Stock Unavailable
271 pp

"I became more and more impressed with the directness with which the authors face difficult issues, and their openness and objectivity in responding to one anotherís arguments."
Robert L. Holmes, University of Rochester

What makes violence bad? Is peace merely the absence of war? Is non-violence anything more than not acting violently? When, if ever, is violence justified? Can violence stop violence? These are among the difficult issues that are grappled with in the uniquely structured Two Paths Toward Peace. In this book, an advocate of minimum justified violence, Child, and a pacifist, Scherer, engage in a dialogue about the uses and abuses of violence in the contemporary world.

Scherer begins the exchange with a thoughtful and coherent explanation of traditional pacifism and an introduction to a new conception of pacifism—teleological pacifism—which was espoused by Gandhi. Child responds by assessing the cost of uncritical pacifism, particularly in the 20th century. The authors then embark on a detailed three-part inquiry: dissecting first the concept of justified violence; then the concept of pacifism; and finally, exploring the interplay between these two concepts.


The Pacifistís Vision – Donald Scherer
The Cost of Uncritical Pacifism – James W. Child
Two Paths to Peace – James W. Child and Donald Scherer

Part I: A Critical Examination of Justified Violence
1. A Defense of Justified Violence – James W. Child
2 . A Critique of Justified Violence – Donald Scherer

Part II: A Critical Examination of Pacifism
3 . Problems with Traditional Forms of Pacifism – James W. Child
4. Creating a New Pacifism – Donald Scherer

Part III: The Moral and Metaphysical Foundations of Pacifism and the Justified Violence View
5 . On Justifying Violence – James W. Child
6. A Viable Pacifism – Donald Scherer

Part IV: The Work of Peacemaking
7. On Avoiding War – James W. Child
8. Toward an Enriched Peace – Donald Scherer

Afterword – James W. Child


About the Author(s)

James W. Child is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Social Philosophy and Policy, Bowling Green State University.

Donald Scherer is Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University and the editor of Upstream/Downstream: Issues in Environmental Ethics (Temple).

Subject Categories

Philosophy and Ethics


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