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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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Obligations: Preliminary Points

Obligations: Preliminary Points

(p.26) 2 Obligations: Preliminary Points
A Theory of Political Obligation

Margaret Gilbert (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

People speak of ‘obligations’ in a variety of contexts. This chapter offers a partial characterization of the broad class of obligations with which this book is concerned. This class is important from the perspective of practical reasoning, since reason requires one to fulfill such an obligation all else being equal: they provide one with sufficient reason to act in a certain way. Further, they are independent of one’s inclinations or self-interest. This class includes directed obligations, which are a matter of one person’s owing an action to another, but does not include imputed obligations.

Keywords:   directed obligation, imputed obligation, inclination, owing, practical reasoning, reason, self-interest, sufficient reason

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