Principle of fairness in political obligations

Political Obligation

Agents who act on their own, private, judgment of justice will be perceived by others to be acting unjustly. As such, it provides a person with a categorical reason for action, one that does not depend on her inclinations or self-interest.

Third, he appeals to what is now known as the argument from fairness or fair play when he suggests that disobedience would be a kind of mistreatment of his fellow citizens. In the first stage the naturally free and equal individuals agree to form themselves into a political society, under law, and in the second they establish the government.

Patemanand Hortonpp. On her account, individuals can acquire genuine obligations in the sense of owing something to another even when their suitable act of willing is coerced or the content of what they agree to owe another is immoral.

There is no fair play obligation in cases such as this, either because the Principle of fairness in political obligations receipt of benefits is not enough to show that one is a participant in a cooperative practice Daggerpp.

Absent their good-faith sacrifice of the liberty to act on their private judgments regarding what justice requires, the free-rider would likely be unable to act as he does Wellmanpp.

These last two responses played an especially important part in the political disputes that accompanied the Protestant Reformation.

If we imagine ourselves in a state of nature, he argued, with no government and no law to guide us but the law of nature, we will recognize that everyone is naturally equal and independent. A second response to the problem Romans 13 posed was to distinguish disobedience from resistance.

When Simmons included a chapter on the weakness of gratitude as a foundation for political obligation in his influential Moral Principles and Political Obligationsin fact, there was no gratitude theory on which to concentrate his criticism.

As Simmons puts itp. These theorists agree, however, that moral agents can discharge their natural duty to others only through submission to the authority of a common legal order. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

Nevertheless, most theorists will agree that people in this unhappy country have legal obligations to pay taxes, refrain from certain types of conduct when driving, and do whatever the legal system that enjoys de facto jurisdiction over them requires; that is, claims to this effect are true descriptions of the world.

A closely related question is whether we should distinguish the concept of political obligation from that of a duty to obey the law. Whether the philosophical anarchists are willing to accept that consequence — and perhaps to become anarchists proper — or whether they can find a way to stop short of it thus becomes a major point of contention.

There is no single answer to the problem of political obligation, as they see it, because the problem has more than one aspect. The arguments against Wolff usually concentrate on his conception of autonomy and its relation to authority.

Most political philosophers have assumed that the answer is yes. Walker holds that one may have an obligation of gratitude not only to other persons but also to institutions, including the state or polity; but critics such as Simmons disagreepp. Whether this argument does indeed provide the basis for a satisfactory theory of political obligation seems to turn on two points.

Democratic Authority and Its Limits, Oxford: With regard to philosophical anarchism in general, critics have responded in various ways, including the disparate complaints that it is a kind of false or hypocritical radicalism Gans and that it is all too genuine a threat to political order Senor.

If this is my polity, and I find myself thinking of its concerns as something that we members share, and its government as our government, then it will be easy to think also that I have an obligation to obey its laws.

First, the critics maintain that the analogy between the polity and the family is neither persuasive nor attractive. Under the pressure of those disputes, however, another theory of political obligation became increasingly prominent, as Protestants came to rely on the belief that political authority derives from the consent of the governed Skinner, vol.

Arguments of the first kind maintain that it is impossible to provide a satisfactory account of a general obligation to obey the law. None of these arguments is fully developed, but their presence in the Crito is testimony to the staying power of intuitions and concepts — commitment and agreement, gratitude, fair play, and utility — that continue to figure in discussions of obligation and obedience.

Others complain that fair-play theory is not suitably sensitive to the possible alternatives there may have been to the cooperative practices that have emerged. Most natural duty theorists conclude that subjects of a legal order that recognizes no rights on the part of some or all of its subjects against such treatment lacks legitimate authority, even if it is democratic.

The Principle of Fairness and Political Obligation

The latter complaint has both an ontological and a conceptual aspect. First, are obligations of gratitude at all pertinent where political institutions are concerned? Under any other form of government, autonomy and authority are simply incompatible. It is unpersuasive because the members of the modern polity lack the close and intimate relationships with one another that family members typically share; and it is unattractive because it raises the possibility that the paternalism appropriate within the family may be extended to the polity.

Second, the critics object that the associative account conflates the sense of obligation with obligation itself. Nevertheless, consent theory still has its adherents among political philosophers. The value of this distinction is that it allows one to hold that a person may be subject to a legal obligation even though she has no political obligation to obey the laws of the regime in power.

Natural duties are also universal in scope; they are owed to all members of a class defined in terms of possession of some feature, such as sentience or rationality. This intuition, moreover, points to the third attractive feature, which is the way in which the obligation to obey the laws grows out of the sense of identity that members of a polity commonly share.

Finally, it is not clear that consent is really the key to political obligation in these theories. First, though, it is necessary to see how fair-play advocates have responded to the three criticisms sketched above.

The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly, In The Principle of Fairness and Political Obligation, George Klosko presents the first book-length treatment of political obligation grounded in the premises of liberal political theory. In this now-classic work, he clearly and systematically formulates what others thought impossible-a principle of fairness that specifies a set of conditions which grounds existing political obligations and.

This book offers an account of (moral) political obligations based on a principle of fairness. Unlike other fairness accounts, Klosko’s grows out of the purported. The Paperback of the The Principle of Fairness and Political Obligation by George Klosko at Barnes & Noble.

FREE Shipping on $ or more! Specialists - Summer Reading. Dec 10,  · In this now-classic work, he clearly and systematically formulates what others thought impossible_a principle of fairness that specifies a set of conditions which grounds existing political obligations and bridges the gap between the abstract accounts of political principles and the actual beliefs of political actors/5(5).

In The Principle of Fairness and Political Obligation, George Klosko presents the first book-length treatment of political obligation grounded in the premises of liberal political theory.4/5(1). Women and Political Representation in Canada: Equality, Fairness, and Capabilities I.

Introduction Social equality is the concept in which all individuals possess the same fundamental basic liberties, opportunities, moral value/respect, and social benefits.

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