Title

The development of contractarianism: From Hobbes to Rawls

Date of Award

1988

Availability

Article

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Philosophy

First Committee Member

Ramon M. Lemos, Committee Chair

Abstract

Different forms of contractarianism are assessed and explained. The concept of the social contract, as it is used by Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, and Rawls, is found to be inadequate for the development of a coherent political philosophy. Moreover it is argued that both contractarians as well as the anti-contractarians I shall consider fail in their account of political authority and in their account of political obligation. If this is so, then it follows that there is no general prima facie moral obligation to obey the state and its institutions. Thus it is argued that most citizens do not have political obligations. The legitimacy of the state and its institutions will ultimately depend upon its moral qualities.

Keywords

Philosophy

Link to Full Text

http://access.library.miami.edu/login?url=http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dissertation&res_dat=xri:pqdiss&rft_dat=xri:pqdiss:8827869