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Jonathan Parry (LSE): “The Truth in Political Voluntarism”

10 March, 2:00 pm3:30 pm

Abstract: When are political regimes permitted to coercively rule their subjects? And when do subjects have moral obligations to support and obey their regimes? One influential strain of thought – political voluntarism – holds that political legitimacy is grounded in the exercise of self-regarding normative powers (consent and promise) on the part of subjects. Despite its attractive emphasis on individual self-sovereignty, this view is widely held to be hopeless. A popular alternative – political functionalism – grounds political legitimacy on the successful performance of morally valuable tasks. In this talk I outline a hybrid view which aims to combine the attractive features of both voluntarism and functionalism. The view that I propose takes coercive rule and political obligations to be ultimately justified by appeal to the value of a regime’s functioning (its contribution to individual wellbeing in particular), but it understands this value to be sensitive to the exercise of self-regarding normative powers on the part of each subject, thus integrating a concern for individual self-sovereignty.

Details

Date:
10 March
Time:
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Event Category:

Organiser

Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method
Email:
philosophy-dept@lse.ac.uk

Venue

LAK 2.06
Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Website:
http://www.lse.ac.uk/