David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 1 (3):1-8 (2005)
s the very existence of government morally problematic? Is government morally problematic, that is, in a way that a “state of nature” is not? Many political philosophers have thought so. I will argue that they are wrong. If that seems too easy, I also will argue that the modern welfare state is no more problematic, morally, than a minimal, “nightwatchman” state. (If all of this seems too easy, I hope to convince you that it is not as easy as you might think.) One vivid way of conveying the idea that government is prima facie wrongful is by employing a metaphor. Just as the gunman, who takes our money upon threat of violence, acts wrongfully, so also the state acts wrongfully by exacting its citizens’ obedience by threatening punishment; the state is simply the gunman writ large.1 Compare the following cases
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Kai Nielsen (1981). On Justifying Violence. Inquiry 24 (1):21 – 57.
Noriaki Iwasa (2010). Dual Ethics in Romans 13. Journal of Dharma 35 (2):159-169.
Jonathan Marshall (1979). William Graham Sumner: Critic of Progressive Liberalism. Journal of Libertarian Studies 3 (3):261-277.
John T. Sanders (1980). The Ethical Argument Against Government. University Press of America.
Christopher W. Morris (2012). State Coercion and Force. Social Philosophy and Policy 29 (1):28-49.
C. A. J. Coady (1997). Objecting Morally. Journal of Ethics 1 (4):375-397.
Robert Nozick (1988). Side Constraints. In Samuel Scheffler (ed.), Consequentialism and its Critics. Oxford University Press.
Jeff McMahan (2009). Humanitarian Intervention, Consent, and Proportionality. In N. Ann Davis, Richard Keshen & Jeff McMahan (eds.), Ethics and Humanity: Themes From the Philosophy of Jonathan Glover. Oxford University Press.
Charlotte Waterlow (1967). Tribe, State and Community: Contemporary Government and Justice. London, Methuen.
Nathan Hanna (2012). It's Only Natural: Legal Punishment and the Natural Right to Punish. Social Theory and Practice 38 (4):598-616.
William A. Edmundson (2010). Political Authority, Moral Powers and the Intrinsic Value of Obedience. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 30 (1):179-191.
M. Coakley (2011). On the Value of Political Legitimacy. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 10 (4):345-369.
John Hasnas (2003). Reflections on the Minimal State. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (1):115-128.
Added to index2011-06-20
Total downloads9 ( #128,915 of 1,089,063 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?