Alternative Supply and Alternative Preferences

George Klosko

in Political Obligations

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199256204
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602351 | DOI:
Alternative Supply and Alternative Preferences

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The most powerful objection to political obligations based on the principle of fairness concerns alternative supply of necessary public goods. According to this line of argument, if the subject prefers not to receive particular benefits from the state, then he need not incur obligations through their provision. However, as the discussion in Ch. 2 shows, for certain essential public goods, there is no alternative to state provision. Moreover, the fact that a subject prefers that goods be provided in a different form or by a mechanism other than the state is not ordinarily sufficient to dissolve obligations that they would otherwise incur.

Keywords: fairness; political obligations; preferences; public goods

Chapter.  6766 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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