New PDF release: A Theory of Political Obligation: Membership, Commitment,

Consciousness Thought

By Margaret Gilbert

ISBN-10: 019954395X

ISBN-13: 9780199543953

Margaret Gilbert deals an incisive new method of a vintage challenge of political philosophy: while and why may still I do what the legislations tells me to do? Do i've got specified duties to comply to the legislation of my very own kingdom and if that is so, why? In what experience, if any, needs to I struggle in wars during which my state is engaged, if ordered to take action, or undergo the penalty for legislations breaking--including the loss of life penalty? Gilbert's obtainable publication deals a provocative and compelling case in want of electorate' responsibilities to the country, whereas analyzing how those should be squared with self-interest and different competing concerns.

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Additional resources for A Theory of Political Obligation: Membership, Commitment, and the Bonds of Society

Sample text

Given all this, Pamela may still go on intelligibly to ask whether she has an obligation to pay the tax, that is, an obligation of the general kind characterized earlier in this chapter. 46 The same goes for obligations imputed by social rules and conventions. To distinguish my quarry from imputed obligations is not to deny that such obligations are of primary importance for the membership problem. A central 44 Several authors use other terms to mark roughly the same category of so-called obligations.

36 See Brandt (1964) on both points. 37 The relevant article focuses on rights, rights he characterizes, without definition of the qualifying term, as ‘moral’. 38 a problem of political obligation incur by some voluntary act. Now the term ‘voluntary’ can be variously interpreted. In a standard interpretation, however, a fully intentional action—as opposed to an automatic response like a knee-jerk in reaction to a tap on the knee—may yet not be voluntary. 38 It is best in the present context not to limit one’s focus to obligations incurred voluntarily, in this strong sense.

Perhaps ‘special persons’ would better be replaced by ‘specific persons’ in the sense that if an obligation is owed, it has to be owed to someone. There need be nothing ‘special’ about these persons in the sense that they have any particular personal qualities. ‘Specific persons’, however, should not be understood as ruling out all persons as those to whom the obligation is owed. What is key here is the reference to ‘owing’, owing to one or more persons. One might say, as Hart does, that an obligation is owed.

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A Theory of Political Obligation: Membership, Commitment, and the Bonds of Society by Margaret Gilbert


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