Southwest Philosophy Review 14 (1):47-54 (1998)

Simon Cushing
University of Michigan - Flint
The two justificatory roles of the social contract are establishing whether or not a state is legitimate simpliciter and establishing whether any particular individual is politically obligated to obey the dictates of its governing institutions. Rawls's theory is obviously designed to address the first role but less obviously the other. Rawls does offer a duty-based theory of political obligation that has been criticized by neo-Lockean A. John Simmons. I assess Simmons's criticisms and the possible responses that could be made to them, including those offered by Samuel Freeman. I conclude they rest on a Rawlsian equivocation and ultimately fail.
Keywords Rawls  social contract  political obligation  Locke  A. John Simmons  Samuel Freeman  Rousseau  legitimacy  duty-based  Theory of Justice
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ISBN(s) 0897-2346
DOI swphilreview19981415
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