Law Without Legitimacy or Justification? The Flawed Foundations of Philosophical Anarchism

Res Publica 18 (2):173-188 (2012)
In this article, I examine A. John Simmons’s philosophical anarchism, and specifically, the problems that result from the combination of its three foundational principles: the strong correlativity of legitimacy rights and political obligations; the strict distinction between justified existence and legitimate authority; and the doctrine of personal consent, more precisely, its supporting assumptions about the natural freedom of individuals and the non-natural states into which individuals are born. As I argue, these assumptions, when combined with the strong correlativity and strict distinction theses, undermine Simmons’s claim, which is central to his philosophical anarchism, that a state may be justified in enforcing the law, even if illegitimate or unjustified in existing
Keywords A. John Simmons  Philosophical anarchism  Political obligation  Rights and obligations  Justification and legitimacy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11158-011-9175-x
 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: 24,433
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Robert Paul Wolff (1971). In Defense of Anarchism. Journal of Philosophy 68 (18):561-567.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

35 ( #137,385 of 1,925,076 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #308,563 of 1,925,076 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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