By John Dunn
What kind of commitments do people have sturdy cause to recognize to each other and to the social devices (family, tribe, country) to which they belong? Is the sovereign authority of the nation at any place or in every single place a real ethical authority, or is it easily a coercive potential of various strength, reposing on a number of successfully touted fake ideals? What political responsibilities, if any, do males actually have? The imperative questions of political philosophy haven't lessened in useful urgency or in theoretical hassle in fresh many years. yet they've got develop into more and more demanding to deal with in an intellectually severe style and glossy thinkers became more and more reluctant even to aim to handle them in the sort of model. Mr Dunn's number of essays files an try to recapture the experience and personality of those questions through coming near near them from an strangely wide number of views.
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Extra info for Political Obligation in its Historical Context: Essays in Political Theory
The circumstances in which a man cannot be said to have consented are confined to those in which he has been coerced. 22 This is because the setting up of a political society is the creation of ajural space, as well as of a physical protection; both of which are designed to secure the enjoyment of the participating individuals and both of which, at the level of social development reached in seventeenth-century England, as in many places, are necessary conditions for the existence of any 36 Consent in the political theory of John Locke such security.
Of course, such a misapprehension could readily be described as a failure to grasp what the speaker was doing in saying those words; and this is clearly an apt description. But it does seem at least equally natural to describe it as not understanding 'what he was saying*. 7 Parody or even irony are not just acts which hold the world at a respectful distance. They are ways of saying things about the world. It would surely be impossible to write a coherent account of Plato's ideas in the Gorgias or Hume's in the Dialogues concerning Natural Religion without taking note of the fact that some of the propositions which they contain are highly ironical in character.
434); para. 89,11. 1-19 (p. 343). In view of the oddly vehement and largely irrelevant literature on Locke's attitudes to the rule of the majority, (see esp. W. Kendall, John Locke and the Doctrine of Majority-Rule (Urbana, 111.