The development of contractarianism: From Hobbes to Rawls
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
First Committee Member
Ramon M. Lemos - Committee Chair
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.
Medina, Vicente, "The development of contractarianism: From Hobbes to Rawls" (1988). Dissertations from ProQuest. 2686.