By Margaret Gilbert

Margaret Gilbert deals an incisive new method of a vintage challenge of political philosophy: while and why may still I do what the legislation tells me to do? Do i've got targeted tasks to comply to the legislation of my very own state and if that is so, why? In what experience, if any, needs to I struggle in wars during which my state is engaged, if ordered to take action, or endure the penalty for legislation breaking--including the demise penalty? Gilbert's obtainable ebook deals a provocative and compelling case in want of voters' tasks to the country, whereas studying how those might be squared with self-interest and different competing concerns.

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

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54 That one currently resides in such a society may be part of what enables one to raise and freely discuss this kind of question. However precisely its details and its animating ideas are spelled out, such a society may indeed be far preferable to any other kind. That does not mean that one should ignore the situation of those whose situations differ strongly from one’s own. History and, indeed, contemporary life are full of kings and tyrants, of societies in which there are few freedoms, of societies that are not democracies in any standard sense.

In other words, if in a given situation one wants to do a certain thing, but has a promissory obligation not to do that thing, then rationality requires that one do what one is obligated to do. Similar things can be said in relation to self-interest. ’ One can, of course, break a promise, and one may decide to do so on grounds either of contrary inclination or self-interest: ‘I can’t bear the thought of spending even an hour with her. ’ That one may think this and act accordingly does not show that one’s action is consonant with the dictates of rationality.

However precisely its details and its animating ideas are spelled out, such a society may indeed be far preferable to any other kind. That does not mean that one should ignore the situation of those whose situations differ strongly from one’s own. History and, indeed, contemporary life are full of kings and tyrants, of societies in which there are few freedoms, of societies that are not democracies in any standard sense. To ignore such situations, is not only to exhibit a degree of parochialism.

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