Reconsidering Actual Contract Theory

Margaret Gilbert

in A Theory of Political Obligation

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199274956
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603976 | DOI:
 Reconsidering Actual Contract Theory

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The actual contract theory of political obligation is reconsidered in light of a plural subject account of agreements. Given the proposed account of agreements, both immoral and coerced agreements are possible and obligate the parties. The obligation in question is not a moral requirement deriving from a general moral principle, it is an obligation of joint commitment as discussed in Chapter 7. Actual contract theory can thus be defended against the no-obligation objection construed in terms of obligation simply; the no-agreement objection remains. Plural subject theory avoids both objections and is therefore to be preferred.

Keywords: actual contract theory; agreements; coerced agreements; immoral agreements; obligation; political obligation; plural subject theory; moral requirement

Chapter.  11118 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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