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A Theory of Political ObligationMembership, Commitment, and the Bonds of Society$
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Margaret Gilbert

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199274956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199274959.001.0001

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The Plural Subject Theory of Political Obligation

The Plural Subject Theory of Political Obligation

(p.238) 11 The Plural Subject Theory of Political Obligation
A Theory of Political Obligation

Margaret Gilbert (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The plural subject theory of political obligation is brought up against the tests proposed in Chapter 3, and compared and contrasted with several other theories, including those that invoke subjective identification and fair play. Some questions relating to political authority are also discussed, including the question of the standing to punish. Several objections that might or have been raised to plural subject theory, including some from A. John Simmons are noted, and responses are offered. The practical importance of political obligations according to the theory is discussed, and some substantive moral questions relating to them are noted.

Keywords:   fair play theory, membership, plural subject theory, political authority, political obligation, A. John Simmons, standing to punish, subjective identification

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