Kimberley Brownlee Book Review

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A Critical Study of Conscience and Conviction through the Work of Brownlee
Tanisha Agarwal
Institute of Law, Nirma University

Abstract Kimberley Brownlee’s book Conscience and Conviction explores the nature of Conscience and Conscientious conviction and throws insight upon acts of civil disobedience, justifying them with innovative arguments. The book is divided into two parts- Morality and Law. The first part talks about morality of conviction and how civil disobedience is justified by a duty based moral right of conscience. The second part relates conviction to law and how civil disobedients have a moral right not to be punished. I will critically examine the main themes of the book through my own inputs and examples and by drawing comparisons from real life and works of notable philosphers. I will also try to challenge as well as appreciate claims that Brownlee makes in her book. While the book certainly discourses upon a variety of subjects which cover much more than conscience and disobedience, its chief and most important claims can be classified under three headings: i) it offers novel descriptions of conscientious
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Incoherent convictions are necessary for moral development and in specific for evolving the type of rational and communicative moral convictions Brownlee favours. Public conscientious convictions require deep internal thought and deliberation in order for them to mature. Brownlee, in her dialogue fails to give way to the agent who is still weighing and deliberating to form moral convictions which is not known to others yet. Thus, these insightful discussions help us explore the nature of conscience and conscientious convictions and draw important conclusions concerning the justifiable protection of acts of civil disobedience. The discussions in this book give rise to new questions and challenges in the
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