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The Ethics of ConsentTheory and Practice$
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Franklin Miller and Alan Wertheimer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335149

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335149.001.0001

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Political Obligation and Consent

Political Obligation and Consent

(p.305) 12 Political Obligation and Consent
The Ethics of Consent

A. John Simmons

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the age-old question: Do we have an obligation to obey the law? It has long been argued that one has an obligation to obey the law if (Plato) and perhaps “only if” (Locke) one consents to do so. The chapter argues that citizens in a democratic polity do not consent to be governed and thus cannot acquire obligations in this way.

Keywords:   consent, law, obligation, democratic polity

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