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Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, Volume 2$
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David Sobel, Peter Vallentyne, and Steven Wall

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198759621

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198759621.001.0001

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Political Rule and Its Discontents

Political Rule and Its Discontents

Chapter:
(p.34) (p.35) 2 Political Rule and Its Discontents
Source:
Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, Volume 2
Author(s):

Niko Kolodny

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198759621.003.0003

This chapter briefly considers various potentially problematic features of the state and then focuses on the imposition of deterrents for violations of state directives. The most serious problem, the chapter argues, is that such imposition violates a deontological constraint on using force even to achieve a greater good. The chapter argues that there is no relevant moral difference, at least for sufficiently democratic states, between imposing deterrents for the violation of natural prohibitions on the use of force and imposing deterrents for the violation of state directives. Thus, if, as many believe, the former are permissible, then so too are the latter. The crucial question, of course, is whether the two are morally equivalent.

Keywords:   deterrence, state use of force, democracy, justice, legitimacy

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