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Welfare Notes

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Department
Political Science
Course
Political Science 1020E
Professor
Charles Jones
Semester
Fall

Description
Wolff says that political obligation is: • States obligation to coexist with other states • Obligation to obey the law because it’s the law • Easier to justify after smoking weed Are there universal political obligations? Voluntarism: states political authority depends on my consent 1. Express consent 2. Tacit consent 3. Hypothetical consent Tacit Consent • Tacit = Implicit or Understood • Do we tacitly or implicitly consent to the states author over us? • Is there something that is morally equivalent to consenting? • Does residence count? o Staying is morally equivalent to consenting, because if you hate it, you can leave  Obstacles to leaving: poverty culture, language, other states  If there are obstacles to leaving, then it is not morally equivalent to consent Hypothetical Consent: 1 • Rational individuals would consent is they were in the state of nature • Objection: hypothetical consent is not actual consent • Non-Voluntarism: worthy of consent Hypothetical Consent: 2 • Voluntarism: hypothetical consent gets us to realize what we already consent to • Objection: it’s not really consent, because we aren’t aware • Objection 2: some may refuse to consent. Anarchism Revisited • “I didn’t, and I wouldn’t consent, so the state in illegitimate • Correct to reject blind obedience • But, people disagree about the justice of the laws Locke’s point • There are two options available 1. A publically agreed, shared set of laws 2. Defer to private judgments about the content of laws (anarchism) • Better to have shared laws than continued disagreement • The “inconveniencies” of the state of nature defeat anarchism Utilitarianism – Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1832) • The good and the right • The right action is the one that maximizes utility (good) • Utility = happiness, well-being Utilitarianism and Political Obligation • Obey the law IF AND ONLY IF doing do will produce greater happiness than disobeying • Objection: this is a law-breakers charter Indirect Utilitarianism • Don’t justify particular actions by appeal to utility-promotion • Well0being is maximized by each of us obeying the laws Three parts of Utilitarianism 1. Theory of the good (happiness) 2. Commitment to equal concern 3. Requirement of maximization Why Utilitarianism? • Human Happiness • Impartial Concern • Consequential Society Objections to Utilitarianism 1. Too Demanding: Asks to much • Is it too demanding? o Direct Utilitarianism: YES o Indirect (Partial) Utilitarianism: Not Necessarily 2. Too Permissive: Allows too much • Is it too permissive? o Can require injustice i.e. Torture, slavery, conviction of the innocent o Reply: Hard-Headed – IF IT MAXIMIZES HAPPINESS, BE MACHAVALIAN o Reply 2: Appeasement – BE MORAL 3. General objection o It fails to expl
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