The Duty to Obey the Law Selected Philosophical Readings

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1998-12-23
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

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The question Why should I obey the law? introduces a contemporary puzzle that is as old as philosophy itself. The puzzle is especially troublesome if we think of cases in which breaking the law is not otherwise wrongful, and in which the chances of getting caught are negligible. Philosophers from Socrates to H.L.A. Hart have struggled to give reasoned support to the idea that we do have a general moral duty to obey the law but, more recently, the greater number of learned voices has expressed doubt that there is any such duty, at least as traditionally conceived.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
The Obligation to Obey the Lawp. 17
The Justification of Civil Disobediencep. 49
The Conflict between Authority and Autonomyp. 63
Is There a Prima Facie Obligation to Obey the Law?p. 75
The Principle of Fair Playp. 107
Political Authority and Political Obligationp. 143
The Obligation to Obey: Revision and Traditionp. 159
Legitimate Authority and the Duty to Obeyp. 177
Presumptive Benefit, Fairness, and Political Obligationp. 193
Legal Theory and the Claim of Authorityp. 213
Freedom, Recognition, and Obligation: A Feminist Approach to Political Theoryp. 243
Special Ties and Natural Dutiesp. 271
Who Believes in Political Obligation?p. 301
Surrender of Judgment and the Consent Theory of Political Authorityp. 319
Indexp. 347
About the Contributorsp. 351
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