Consent theory for libertarians

Social Philosophy and Policy 22 (1):330-356 (2005)
Abstract
This paper argues that libertarian political philosophers, including Robert Nozick, have erred in neglecting the problem of political obligation and that they ought to embrace an actual consent theory of political obligation and state legitimacy. It argues as well that if they followed this recommendation, their position on the subject would be correct. I identify the tension in libertarian (and especially Nozick's) thought between its minimalist and its consensualist strains and argue that, on libertarianism's own terms, the consensualist strain ought to prevail. I then describe the form of the consent theory that I recommend to libertarians. The paper concludes with an extended defense of this form of consent theory against contemporary liberal-egalitarian criticisms of it (both explicit and implicit), including those of Dworkin, Rawls, and their followers. Footnotesa Earlier versions of this essay were presented at the University of Michigan, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Brown University. For their lively discussions and helpful suggestions for the improvement of this essay, I am grateful to those audiences and to my fellow contributors to this volume. And for their careful reading and comments, I thank the editors of Social Philosophy and Policy.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    59 ( #21,738 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    2 ( #42,743 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.