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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-S065-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved March 17, 2018, from

Article Summary

Violence is a central concept for much discussion of moral and political life, but lots of debate employing the concept is confused by the lack of clarity about its meaning and about the moral status it should have in our development of public policy. Wide understandings of the term – for instance, structural violence – not only include too much under the name of violence, but also put an excessively negative moral loading into the concept. This is also a problem for some other definitions of violence, such as legitimist definitions, which treat violence as essentially the illegitimate use of force. It is better to confront directly the important and disturbing claim that violence is sometimes morally permissible than to settle it by definitional fiat.

Citing this article:
Coady, C.A.J.. Violence, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-S065-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2018 Routledge.

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