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Moral Principles and Political Obligations - A. John Simmons

Moral Principles and Political Obligations

Paperback Published: 21st September 1981
ISBN: 9780691020198
Number Of Pages: 252

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Outlining the major competing theories in the history of political and moral philosophy--from Locke and Hume through Hart, Rawls, and Nozick--John Simmons attempts to understand and solve the ancient problem of political obligation. Under what conditions and for what reasons (if any), he asks, are we morally bound to obey the law and support the political institutions of our countries?

Industry Reviews

"This devastating book asks why citizens should feel obligated to participate in the political order and be responsive to its demands. Simmons lines up theorists like targets and bops one after another. 'Fair Play', 'Tacit Consent', 'Natural Duty of Justice' are all in trouble, whether offered by Rawls or Nozick or anyone else. That does not mean that Virginia Professor Simmons opts for the jungle; he simply has left few grounds for political obligations and suggests that somehow people will have to salvage some moral obligations instead. An astute work of demythologization and demolition."--The Christian Century "(A) major contribution to political philosophy... Everyone who is interested in political theory will gain much from this study."--Library Journal

Prefacep. vii
Introductionp. 3
Obligationsp. 7
Obligations and Final Judgmentsp. 7
Obligation and Dutyp. 11
Positional Duties and Moral Requirementsp. 16
"Prima Facie" Requirementsp. 24
The Problem of Political Obligationp. 29
The Limits of the Investigationp. 29
Political Obligation and Political Languagep. 38
Utilitarianism and Political Obligationp. 45
The Standards of Successp. 54
The Consent Traditionp. 57
Consent Theoryp. 57
The Major Assumptionsp. 61
Majority Consentp. 71
The Argument from Tacit Consentp. 75
Consent Definedp. 75
Tacit Consentp. 79
Locke and the Failure of Tacit Consentp. 83
Tacit Consent and Residencep. 95
The Principle of Fair Playp. 101
Hart and Rawls on Fair Playp. 101
Fair Play and Justicep. 109
Fair Play and Political Obligationp. 114
Nozick's Argumentsp. 118
The Principle in Political Communitiesp. 136
The Natural Duty of Justicep. 143
Rawls on Political Obligationp. 143
When Institutions "Apply to Us"p. 147
Justice and Political Bondsp. 152
Gratitudep. 157
The Benefits of Governmentp. 157
Debts of Gratitudep. 163
Gratitude as a Ground of Political Obligationp. 183
Concluding Remarksp. 191
Political Obligation and Disobediencep. 191
Political Obligation and Legitimacyp. 195
Notesp. 202
Bibliographyp. 219
Indexp. 229
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691020198
ISBN-10: 0691020191
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 252
Published: 21st September 1981
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.3 x 12.6  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.3