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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

Chapter:
(p.98) 5 Multiple Principles of Political Obligation
Source:
Political Obligations
Author(s):

George Klosko (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199256209.003.0005

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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