Violence and Nonviolence: an Introduction critiques five dominant societal views about violence and nonviolence. Using evidence from scientific studies as well as anecdotal evidence and news reports, esteemed scholar and editor Barry L. Gan shows readers that these widely adopted and violent views are largely mistaken, and require a fundamental rethinking and adjustment. By synthesizing new research with old philosophies, Gan introduces readers to an alternative paradigm of nonviolence through which we can begin to build a more peaceful world. Nonviolent strategic action — a kind of selective nonviolence — is the first of the two alternative paradigms that provides a concrete approach to addressing social and political problems arising from violence. Nonviolence as a way of life is the second of the paradigms that expands upon (and in some respects critiques) the first, preferring a comprehensive and radical response to the scourges of violence that have plagued human history.
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; August 2013
- ISBN 9781442217614
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- Title: Violence and Nonviolence
- Author: Barry L. Gan
Imprint: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
In The Press
In this introduction to violence and nonviolence, Gan (philosophy, Bonaventure U.) focuses on subjective and intersubjective violence and examines common myths about violence, noting logical inconsistencies as well as ways to overcome their rhetorical force. These include the idea that violence is exclusively a physical act, that there are good people and bad people (i.e. and good perpetrators of violence and bad ones), that some measured violence is always necessary to prevent greater violence, and that wrongdoers must be punished and forgo their some or all of their worth as humans in the process. The second part of the text is about thinking through nonviolence as a radical practice and comprehensive strategy in light of the 'fuller account of violence' Gans is offering. He is at odds with the idea that 'ends justify the means,' but agrees in the end with Plato that 'it is better to be injured than to injure.'
About The Author
Barry L. Gan is professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Nonviolence at St. Bonaventure University. He is editor of the journal The Acorn: Journal of the Gandhi-King Society and has co-edited the anthology, Nonviolence in Theory and Practice with Robert L. Holmes.