CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IN MAHATMA GANDHI: AN ETHICAL EVALUATION

AUTHOR: UCHENNA AZUBUIKE EZEOGU

DEPARTMENT: PHILOSOPHY

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY AWKA

The question of what constitutes civil disobedience and its justification has been a problem in philosophy. Civil disobedience has been confused with so many other acts of disobedience; like, rebellion, and revolutionary moves. Civil disobedience can be distinguished from all these acts by its appeal to conscience and its method. The question of conscience is also another problem. Under what condition can the dictates of our conscience be said to be right? Is civil disobedience justifiable? Under what condition of human existence can we justify civil
disobedience? What are the criteria for evaluating or accessing it to be so? When the law of the land is in conflict with our conscience, what do we do, and what should be our guiding principle? Mahatma Gandhi was a good example of a man who changed the existing order in the society by using the tool of civil disobedience. Ethically, to what extent can we justify his act of civil disobedience, and his method or approach to it? All these shall form the main fulcrum of this research work. We shall employ the methods of analysis and critique in this research work.

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