Added by: Carl Fox
Introduction: The social-contract tradition in moral and political thought can be loosely characterized as an approach to justification based on the idea of rational agreement. This tradition contains a variety of theories that are put to a number of uses. My exclusive focus here will be contract views that rely upon hypothetical, as opposed to actual, consent. My main objective is to defend hypothetical-consent theories against what I call the standard indictment: the claim that hypothetical consent cannot give rise to obligation. I begin by explaining the standard indictment in more detail; next, I argue that the standard indictment does not apply to moral, as contrasted with, political contractarianism; finally, I argue that, on a certain understanding of the relation between political legitimacy and political obligation, the standard indictment does not count against political contractarianism.
Comment: Defends the significance of hypothetical consent as the standard of justification appropriate for establishing moral obligation in a broadly constructivist view. Very useful as specialised or further reading on moral and political obligation.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Stark, Cynthia A.. Hypothetical Consent and Justification
2000, Journal of Philosophy 97 (6): 313-334.
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