A Theory of Political Obligation: Membership, Commitment, by Margaret Gilbert

By Margaret Gilbert

Margaret Gilbert deals an incisive new method of a vintage challenge of political philosophy: whilst and why may still I do what the legislation tells me to do? Do i've got distinctive tasks to comply to the legislation of my very own kingdom and if that is so, why? In what experience, if any, needs to I struggle in wars within which my kingdom is engaged, if ordered to take action, or endure the penalty for legislations breaking--including the dying penalty? Gilbert's available e-book deals a provocative and compelling case in want of electorate' duties to the country, whereas studying how those could be squared with self-interest and different competing concerns.

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Additional info for A Theory of Political Obligation: Membership, Commitment, and the Bonds of Society

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The notion of a directed obligation may at this point rightly seem puzzling. What is it for someone to owe an action to another person? On what basis can one be properly said to be in this position? Assuming this idea can be made good, it is reasonable to suppose that directed obligations are obligations according to the partial characterization presented in this chapter. That is, it is reasonable to suppose that one who can plausibly be said to owe another an action will have an obligation according to that characterization.

Someone may refer to Joe’s obligations according to British law, meaning to refer, essentially, to what those laws have to say about people in his situation. 3 Nor shall I offer a complete account of obligation that encompasses all of the 1 One who is keen to forge ahead could read Sect. 1, the summary of Sect. 2, and Sects. 4, returning as necessary later. 2 See the very useful discussion in Brandt (1964) for an extended illustration of this point. 3 The opposite approach is taken in Hart (1955), whose position is discussed in Sect.

Certainly the membership problem bears on the residence problem. Suppose one has successfully argued for obligations of membership in a political society, obligations to uphold the political institutions of the society. 43 In spite of that, the residence problem will then be at least partially solved. For suppose that the residents in the territory of a given imperator are also members of a political society, and the ruler of that society is the imperator in question. His rule, that is, is one of the political institutions of the society in question.

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