Acceptance, fairness, and political obligation

Legal Theory 18 (2):209-229 (2012)

Edward Song
Westmont College
Among the most popular strategies for justifying political obligations are those that appeal to the principle of fairness. These theories face the challenge, canonically articulated by Robert Nozick, of explaining how it is that persons are obligated to schemes when they receive goods that they do not ask for but cannot reject. John Simmons offers one defense of the principle of fairness, arguing that people could be bound by obligations of fairness if they voluntarily accept goods produced by a cooperative scheme. Simmons, however, thinks that such a theory will do little work in justifying political obligations, since virtually no one voluntarily accepts state goods. This paper attempts to advance just such a theory by arguing that states are in fact genuine cooperative schemes and that Simmons is overly pessimistic in his appraisal of whether the majority of citizens accept the goods provided by their states
Keywords Principle of Fairness  Political Obligation  State Authority  A. John Simmons
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DOI 10.1017/s1352325212000067
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References found in this work BETA

Justification and Legitimacy.A. John Simmons - 1999 - Ethics 109 (4):739-771.
Political Legitimacy and Democracy.Allen Buchanan - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):689-719.
Legal Obligation and the Duty of Fair Play.John Rawls - 1964 - In Sidney Hook (ed.), Law and Philosophy. New York University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Playing Fair and Following the Rules.Justin Tosi - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (2):134-141.
Rethinking the Principle of Fair Play.Justin Tosi - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 4 (99):612-631.

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