Instead, it evaluates institutional power in terms of moral principles ... the consent of the people, who can rebel against the State if it fails to respect our rights ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation
Social philosophy is not ethics because it is not concerned with identifying a norm of good conduct nor is it politics because it is not concerned with describing how power is expressed in institutions. Instead it evaluates institutional power in terms of moral principles
Issues how are individuals related to society
how is State authority justified
what is the role of government and law
what are justice civil rights freedom
2 Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
Fear of others in the state of nature (apart from society) prompts people to form governments through a social contract
State power/authority (the sovereign) is based on the choice of subjects that there be one will. Since the sovereign determines what is right rebellion against the sovereign is unjustified
As brutal as a State may be it is always better than having no State or government
3 John Locke (1632-1704)
We have God-given rights to our lives liberty property (e.g. bodies)
We establish governments to clarify protect our natural rights. State authority is thus based on the consent of the people who can rebel against the State if it fails to respect our rights
Tacit consent is given by anyone who lives in a country and is protected by its laws
4 Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78)
I am obligated to obey the law only if it is self-imposed. Externally-imposed laws are based on force and are not morally legitimate
The social contract is our tacit agreement to abide by the general will which is what we all will for ourselves as members of a community
Objection consent is often uninformed and unavoidable (Hume)
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