By Margaret Gilbert
Margaret Gilbert deals an incisive new method of a vintage challenge of political philosophy: while and why should still I do what the legislation tells me to do? Do i've got detailed responsibilities to comply to the legislation of my very own state and if that is so, why? In what experience, if any, needs to I struggle in wars during which my nation is engaged, if ordered to take action, or undergo the penalty for legislations breaking--including the dying penalty? Gilbert's obtainable booklet deals a provocative and compelling case in prefer of voters' tasks to the nation, whereas analyzing how those could be squared with self-interest and different competing issues.
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Extra resources for A Theory of Political Obligation: Membership, Commitment, and the Bonds of Society
17 Probably most such writers take their quarry to have this feature. Certainly people often justify acting against their personal inclinations in terms of countervailing obligations. Promissory obligation is a case in point. Someone might very plausibly say: ‘I don’t want to leave now, but I must. ’ This suggests that promissory obligation, at least, ‘trumps’ inclinations with respect to what rationality requires of the promisor, all things considered. In other words, if in a given situation one wants to do a certain thing, but has a promissory obligation not to do that thing, then rationality requires that one do what one is obligated to do.
In other words, if in a given situation one wants to do a certain thing, but has a promissory obligation not to do that thing, then rationality requires that one do what one is obligated to do. Similar things can be said in relation to self-interest. ’ One can, of course, break a promise, and one may decide to do so on grounds either of contrary inclination or self-interest: ‘I can’t bear the thought of spending even an hour with her. ’ That one may think this and act accordingly does not show that one’s action is consonant with the dictates of rationality.
An imperator in my technical sense may or may not issue credible threats to punish those who do not comply with its directives, and it may or may not be generally complied with by the residents of the territory in question. 38 The same goes for other contexts in which an imperator in this sense may operate. I shall refer to the geographical area targeted by a given imperator’s imperatives as ‘an imperator’s territory’ and to those who reside in an imperator’s territory as ‘residents in an imperator’s territory’ or ‘residents’ for short.
A Theory of Political Obligation: Membership, Commitment, and the Bonds of Society by Margaret Gilbert