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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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Multiple Principles of Political Obligation

Multiple Principles of Political Obligation

(p.98) 5 Multiple Principles of Political Obligation
Political Obligations

George Klosko (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Scholars who doubt the existence of general political obligations typically criticize and reject theories of obligation on the basis of individual moral principles, for example, consent, fairness, or a natural duty of justice. A stronger position can result from combining different principles in a single theory. This chapter develops a multi-principle theory of political obligation, on the basis of the principle of fairness, a natural duty of justice, and what I call the ‘common good’ principle. The three principles interact in three main ways: ‘cumulation’, combining the separate state services that different principles cover; ‘mutual support’, combining the force of different principles in regard to the same state services; and simple overlap. The result is a theory that can satisfy the main criteria of a theory of political obligation.

Keywords:   common good, fairness, generality, political obligation, multiple principles, natural duties, particularity

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