wolffconsent - On consent(wolf pgs 34-46 The Social...

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On consent (wolf pgs. 34-46) The Social Contract: Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau all seem to think that we are obligated to obey the law because we are contractually obligated. Why is this an attractive theory? We want a theory of political obligation to be universal (binding for all citizens within the state’s borders) and voluntary (I can only have political obligations if I have acted so as to assume them). 2 advantages: Every citizen is obligated Obligation is taken on voluntarily through consent Problem: What kind of ‘consent is required? Actual (explicit) consent: 1. It’s implausible that there should have ever been some historical instance of mass consent. a. Even if there were, it wouldn’t show that subsequent generations were bound—so existing citizens wouldn’t be bound 2. Consent would need to be ongoing to be really voluntary (consent is retractable, after all) a. But most modern citizens never explicitly consent to be governed b. Naturalized citizens are an interesting counterexample 3.
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