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Unformatted text preview: PHM 2204 Fall, 2007 David Copp THE IDEA OF A LEGITIMATE STATE 1. The Question of Legitimacy * do states have a kind of legitimacy a right to rule -- which entails that citizens have an obligation to obey the law and otherwise support them? * Simmons argues no 2. A Gap in Simmonss Argument? * John Rawls argues that we are obligated to obey the law out of fairness , a duty not to free-ride on beneficial schemes * Simmons objects that people do not voluntarily accept the benefits of living in the state in the understanding that this obligates them * Robert Nozick: a counter-example: a neighbor plays loud music that we happen to enjoy and then asks us to pay our share. (Compare National Public Radio). Nozick argues we are not obligated to pay since (a) we werent given a choice and (b) the benefit of enjoyment might not be worth the cost. * BUT intuitively it still seems unfair to free-ride on a beneficial scheme when: (a) the benefit is (by any rational standard) worth the cost of paying ones share, (b) the benefit could not be produced unless most people paid the cost and (c) we would be irrational to choose to reject the benefit rather than pay the cost So we ought to obey the law (other things being equal)? So we ought to obey the law (other things being equal)?...
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- Fall '07