David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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The problem I am concerned with is very general: Why do we need a coercive institution in our society to control our behavior? This question is a little different from "Why do we need a government?" in two ways: First, because "coercive institution" is a broader term than "government"; probably not every coercive institution that controlled people's behavior would be called a government, though every government is a coercive institution (that is, an institution exercising coercion as one of its main functions). Second, controlling the behavior of the members of the society in which it exists is perhaps not the only important function of government (it may be, for example, that we need a government to fight people from other societies); I will not consider other possible things we might need a coercive institution to do. I will only consider whether we as a society need such an institution to control our own behavior.
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