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Sep 27 - Political Obligation Part 2 Summary

Sep 27 - Political Obligation Part 2 Summary - Summary of...

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1 Summary of Politics 1020E Lecture 6: Political Obligation, Part Two (September 27, 2011) The sixth lecture continues the discussion of voluntarism and political obligation, going beyond express consent and tacit consent to evaluate the idea of hypothetical consent. We address a few further points about anarchism, and then discuss two other prominent strategies for defending political obligations: (1) utilitarianism, and (2) the principle of fairness. Perhaps hypothetical consent can provide the basis for political obligation. The idea here is that, in the state of nature, rational individuals would consent to create a state; therefore, the state is legitimate. The main problem with this strategy is that hypothetical consent is not actual consent, so the moral force of the appeal to consent is absent. What I would consent to in a hypothetical situation is not equivalent to what I actually consent to in a real-life situation.
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