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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 Membership Problem

The Membership Problem

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 The Membership Problem
Source:
A Theory of Political Obligation
Author(s):

Margaret Gilbert (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199274959.003.0001

Does membership in a political society obligate one to support the political institutions of that society? Dubbed the membership problem, its terms are given some initial clarification. Among other things, a society is construed as a social group in a relatively narrow sense illustrated with examples. The membership problem is carefully distinguished from several distinct but closely resembling problems familiar from the literature of political philosophy. Importantly, it concerns obligations that are genuine but not necessarily best referred to as moral obligations.

Keywords:   membership problem, obligation, moral obligation, political institution, political philosophy, political society

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