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Political Obligations$
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George Klosko

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256204

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199256209.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 September 2021

Examples and Cooperation

Examples and Cooperation

(p.223) 10 Examples and Cooperation
Political Obligations

George Klosko (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Continues the analysis of focus group responses discussed in Ch. 9. It is argued that the way different people respond to examples of the kind commonly employed in contemporary moral and political argument provides some test of the examples' persuasiveness. The subject of investigation in this chapter is responses to a series of vignettes concerning connections between different forms of cooperative activity and the generation of obligations. In particular, is a strong sense of cooperation necessary to generate obligations? Subjects were given vignettes that concerned cooperative schemes that provide excludable benefits, essential public goods, and trivial public goods, respectively. Their responses indicate strong connections between the generation of obligations and the nature of specific benefits provided, especially their weight or importance. Receipt of important benefits was viewed as generating obligations, even without a strong sense of cooperation. Receipt of benefits from activity characterized by a strong sense of cooperation was viewed as not establishing obligations, if benefits produced were not of significant importance.

Keywords:   cooperative activity, fairness, focus groups, obligations, Nozick, principle of fairness, Simmons

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