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By Margaret Gilbert

Margaret Gilbert bargains an incisive new method of a vintage challenge of political philosophy: while and why may still I do what the legislations tells me to do? Do i've got specified duties to comply to the legislation of my very own kingdom and if this is the case, why? In what experience, if any, needs to I struggle in wars within which my state is engaged, if ordered to take action, or undergo the penalty for legislation breaking--including the demise penalty? Gilbert's obtainable booklet bargains a provocative and compelling case in want of voters' responsibilities to the country, whereas interpreting how those could be squared with self-interest and different competing issues.

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

Sample text

On pro tanto, see n. 12, below. obligations 29 however, and he has not posted the return. He had become absorbed in his work and it was too late to post the return when he stopped for a rest. Remembering his decision, he is likely to feel things have gone off course. ’ This would not be the case if, in his estimation, his decision in no way spoke in favour of his acting as he had decided. Mike’s likely reaction to his failure to do what he decided to do suggests that a decision does not only give one reason (in my sense) to do what one decided to, do.

3 The opposite approach is taken in Hart (1955), whose position is discussed in Sect. 2, below. obligations 27 different uses mentioned. It may well be that no useful account can be given. For, whatever their commonalities, it is evident from the above examples that so-called obligations are of significantly different types. I noted in the last chapter that those who discuss problems of political obligation do not always focus on something they characterize specifically as obligation. Or they may focus on a specific type of obligation that they refer to as moral obligation.

That depends, of course, on precisely what political obligations are understood to be. 46 Singer (1973: 4–5): ‘That is all I shall say about the meaning of ‘‘morality’’. If the reader disagrees, or is puzzled by what I have said, he will probably do better to read on. . ’ 47 I understand that there are languages that have no exact equivalents of this term, something that is not surprising given the range of things that the English term has come to cover. It is to be hoped that, nonetheless, the discussion will be pertinent to the concerns of those whose main language is other than English.

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