Download PDF by Margaret Gilbert: A Theory of Political Obligation: Membership, Commitment,

By Margaret Gilbert

Margaret Gilbert bargains an incisive new method of a vintage challenge of political philosophy: whilst and why should still I do what the legislation tells me to do? Do i've got unique duties to comply to the legislation of my very own state and if that is so, why? In what experience, if any, needs to I struggle in wars during which my nation is engaged, if ordered to take action, or endure the penalty for legislations breaking--including the dying penalty? Gilbert's obtainable e-book bargains a provocative and compelling case in desire of voters' responsibilities to the nation, whereas reading how those might be squared with self-interest and different competing concerns.

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Extra info for A Theory of Political Obligation: Membership, Commitment, and the Bonds of Society

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Several authors cite McPherson as one who has claimed that political obligations are not moral ones. 45 Among those who say that moral obligation is at issue, many leave it at that, without attempting to say what moral obligation is. 46 Sometimes an author appears to be assuming a residual definition of ‘moral obligation’. That is, moral obligations are defined, explicitly or implicitly, as whatever obligations are not obligations of another, given sort. For instance, moral obligations are often residually defined—at least implicitly—as those obligations that are not legal obligations.

Or one might say, perhaps more perspicuously, that one has an obligation of the kind in question if and only if one owes someone a particular action. Performing that action is the fulfilment of the obligation. 41 The person to whom one owes the action is said to have a right to it. 42 There is no need to worry about whether we are talking here about obligations proper, as opposed to a central class of obligations—perhaps the original class in terms of a gradual widening of the extension of the term.

That seems to accord with the way the term ‘obligation’ is used. Sufficiency Versus Conclusiveness i. 12 I introduce this notion here largely to make the point that to have sufficient reason to do something is not in and of itself to have an absolutely conclusive reason for doing it. Thus, the assumption that you cannot have an obligation to do something without having sufficient reason to do it does not entail that to have an obligation is to have an absolutely conclusive reason to do something. Nor shall I make the independent assumption that this is true.

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