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Lecture 11

Lecture 11 - Hume

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Daniel Kofman

Feb. 11, 2014 HUME • The original contract? “Acknowledged to be real” • Essay repudiating the original contract – legitimate authority comes from consent (common to Hobbes and Locke) • Was there an original contract? I acknowledge that when bands of people first got together and formed a community, there was a form of consent. • But, was that authoritative? No. • Objections: Even if we go acknowledge some possible ancient contract to form states, it’s so ancient and obliterated by change, it cannot be supposed to retain any authority. • “So ancient, obliterated by a thousand changes of government and princes…cannot now be supposed to retain any authority.” • No “consent of the fathers to bind sons.” Once adulthood is reached, fathers cannot bind sons. • Further, no support in history – all government are founded on conquest • All “force and violence” • EvenAthens, “the most extensive democracy,” was not founded on the consent of majority • No tacit consent (Locke – residing in a place rather than leaving) – but the burden of leaving defeats the claim that a free choice s involved and therefore defeats the claim of consent (residing in a place does not entail consent since the other option poses too great a burden). • “implied consent” only arises where there is a real choice • Objection to all varieties is found in the legitimacy of authority on consent: whence does our
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