Political Philosophy - Theories of Political Obligation

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  • Theories of Political Obligation
    • Actual Consent Theory
      • People are under obligation to comply because...
        • They have voluntarily entered the authority relationship
        • By actually consenting to it
        • Which signals a voluntary transfer or rights
      • Historical Version: John Locke's Two Treatises of Government
      • Thomas Hobbes' is in some ways similar to Locke's
    • Four Elements of Locke's Theory
      • 1. State of Nature and Natural Rights - Moral claims against people and right to freedom
      • 2. Problem of State, rights and SoN - State issuing commands and directives would compromise freedom
      • Solution(Part 1): The Idea of an Obligation - Individuals incur an obligation by performing an act such as consent
      • Solution (Part 2): Actual Consent as a ground for Political Obligation. By consent individuals pass on rights to the state
    • Two Arguments in Support
      • Argument from Respect: Renders justification of state authority and shows respect for individuals. Theory is quintessentially liberal
      • Argument from Other Cases: Informed consent to surgery, permissible intercourse
    • Tacit Consent
      • There are certain acts that can be understood as forms of implicit or tacit consent
      • Such acts include residing in a country, voting and accepting state benefits
      • 2 conditions have to be met for tacit consent to be binding
        • Consent must be deliberate
      • Analogy: David Hume's ship
    • Hypothetical Consent Obstacles
      • It is not an actual contract
      • What matters is what people consent or how they give their consent
    • Principle of Fairness
      • If someone enjoys a benefit available to all. You are morally obligated to share sacrifice necessary to provide this benefit
      • eg. rounds in a bar. if you take are you obligated to buy?
      • Surely difference between receiving and accepting?
      • Passively received benefits
      • Luxury vs. necessity vs. active vs. passive


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