Welcome to The Acorn

The Acorn: Philosophical Studies in Pacifism and Nonviolence is a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal devoted to the philosophical examination of the theory and practice of activism, nonviolence, organizing, pacifism, protest, people power, and resistance especially related to examples such as M. K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, or Jane Addams.

Established in 1986 by Ha Poong Kim, and edited for many years by Barry L. Gan, The Acorn is today published biannually with the support of Texas State University.

Subscriptions to the online journal, with access to “Online First” previews and archives of past issues, may be accessed at the Philosophy Documentation Center at: https://www.pdcnet.org/acorn/The-Acorn

Copies of the limited edition print journal are also available via contribution. Please contact the Editor at rm95-at-txstate-dot-edu for pricing and payment information.

Subscribers and contributors to The Acorn are invited to become members of The Gandhi, King, Chavez, Addams Society (The Society) on an “opt-in” basis. The Society is affiliated with the American Philosophical Association.

last updated Sept. 26, 2021

Acorn Editors Gail Presbey and Anthony Sean Neal Discuss Nonviolent Revolution in Ghana and the Black Freedom Struggle

As a contribution to Oxford Public Philosophy’s series on “Theories of (Non)violent Revolutions,” Dr. Gail Presbey presents the example of Kwame Nkrumah’s leadership of Ghana’s independence movement. And Dr. Anthony Sean Neal presents key concepts that guided the Black Freedom Struggle in the US.

Dr. Presbey is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Carney Latin American Solidarity Archive at the University of Detroit Mercy. Dr. Neal is an Associate Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Religion and a Faculty Fellow in Shackouls Honors College of Mississippi State University. Both are editors of The Acorn.

The presentation was hosted by Susmita Dave (people for womxn* in philosophy) and Emma Weitzmann (Oxford PPE Society), and is a collaboration of these two networks. It forms part of people for womxn* in philosophy’s lecture series on “Theories of (Non)violent Revolutions”. This series aims to address publicly and commonly entertained contradictions in the revolutionary topic of each panel and engage us all in critical enquiry. pwip’s broader concern covers the violence inflicted by uncritical thought and how (non)violence is spoken about and enacted surrounding revolutions and revolutionary thought.

Acorn Editor Orosco Interviews Racial Justice Scholars Curry and Mendoza

Is racial justice something that is possible in the United States, given its history and current political conditions? In this episode, Joseph Orosco interviews philosophers Dr. Tommy Curry and Dr. Jose Jorge Mendoza to explore whether we should have hope that the future of the US will be different than its racist past.

Can Black Lives Matter as a social movement lead toward a more liberated society? What forms of solidarity between Black and Latinx communities, especially between intellectuals, are called for in his historical moment? Finally, is philosophy a field that young scholars of color should enter in order to gain the skills and forms of knowledge needed for conceiving of racial justice?

Acorn Editor Sanjay Lal Talks about his Book on Gandhi’s Political Philosophy

In Gandhi’s Thought and Liberal Democracy (Lexington Books, 2019), Sanjay Lal makes the case that for Gandhi, in stark contrast to commonly accepted liberal orthodoxy, religion is indispensable to the public life, and indeed the official activity, of any genuinely liberal society. Gandhi scholars, political theorists, and activist members of a lay audience alike will all find much to digest, comment upon, and be motivated by in this work.

Listen to the podcast at New Books in Hindu Studies, a channel of New Books Network

‘Somebodiness’ in Restorative Justice

Editors of The Acorn present work for the 2020 online conference of the Peace and Justice Studies Association

“Vulnerabilities of Somebodiness in Restorative Justice Theory”

  • Anthony Neal (Mississippi State University)
  • Greg Moses (Texas State University)
  • Sanjay Lal (Clayton State University)

The Acorn, vol. 19: Marilyn Fischer Reviews Addams Selected Papers, vol. 3

In a forthcoming review of The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, Volume III: Creating Hull-House and an International Presence, 1889-1900, noted Addams scholar and philosopher Marilyn Fischer writes that,

The volume is particularly strong in documenting the step-by-step processes through which Hull House grew. The cumulative effect is to recast readers’ image of Addams and Hull House from a singular individual with her remarkable social settlement, to viewing Addams and Hull House as transmission nodes within complex networks of people, organizations, and institutions dedicated to transforming every facet of city life.

During the decade documented in volume 3 of the Addams papers, we find Addams corresponding with “an astonishing number of people and organizations” as Hull House develops historical leadership as a center of social work. But also, the papers reflect Addams’ work as mediator of the Pullman Strike and as a world traveler who visited with Leo Tolstoy and began to develop her own approach to pacifism.

Please find the complete review here in pre-publication archive:

The Acorn, vol. 18: What is Pacifism?, Black Male Sudies, and Quaker Elders

In volume 18 of The Acorn we find pathmaking articles on how to approach the philosophy of pacifism, why the field of Black Male Studies is needed, remembrance of pacifist intellectual Mulford Q. Sibley, review of The Black Panther movie and several important recent books in pacifism and nonviolence.

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Print copies are available via donation. For more info about the print edition, email:

The Acorn: Philosophical Studies in Pacifism and Nonviolence

Vol 18, Nos. 1–2, Spring/Fall 2018


“The Pacifist Tradition and Pacifism as Transformative and Critical Theory”
Andrew Fiala

“What Can Virtue Ethics Offer Pacifists?”
Steven Steyl


“Subjects of Vulnerability”
Tommy Curry, Author of The Man-Not,
Meets Critics Anthony Neal and Dwayne Tunstall

“Remembering Mulford Q. Sibley (1912–1989): A Thirty-year Commemoration”
Duane L. Cady


“Viewing the Black Panther Movie through the Lenses of Liberation Philosophy and Liberation Theology” — Review of Black Panther, Ryan Coogler, director.
Arnold L. Farr

“Resisting Violence and Domination” — Review of On Resistance: A Philosophy of Defiance, by Howard Caygill.
Court Lewis

“Civil Resistance Wisdom from Three Quaker Elders” — Reviews of Nonviolence in America: A Documentary History, by Staughton Lynd and Alice Lynd, editors; and How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning, by George Lakey.
Tom Hastings

“Terrestrial: Neither Global nor Local” — Review of Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime, by Bruno Latour.
Walter “Jerry” Kendall

“Songs of Social Protest: Review of Give Peace a Chant” — Popular Music, Politics and Social Protest, by Dario Martinelli.
Court Lewis

“To Understand All is to Forgive All” — Review of Little Siddhartha: A Sequel, by William Irwin
Court Lewis

Happy New Year at PhilPapers 2017

Organizers at PhilPapers have agreed to post a category on Peace and Nonviolence:


Some leading names in nonviolence philosophy have also been added as 20th Century Philosophers:

Mahatma Gandhi

Jane Addams

and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The editors of The Acorn would like to thank PhilPapers for these timely adjustments. We encourage our colleagues to join efforts of scholarship and critical thinking in these important areas of study.

Greg Moses