Surrender of judgment and the consent theory of political authority

Law and Philosophy 16 (2):115 - 143 (1997)
The aim of this paper is to take the first steps toward providing a refurbished consent theory of political authority, one that rests in part on a reconception of the relationship between the surrender of judgment and the authoritativeness of political institutions. On the standard view, whatever grounds political authority implies that one ought to surrender one's judgment to that of one's political institutions. On the refurbished view, it is the surrender of one's judgment – which can plausibly be considered a form of consent – that makes political institutions practically authoritative.
Keywords authority  political authority  consent  obligation  political obligation  law
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