Chapter

Of the Objects of Allegiance

Jonathan Harrison

in Hume's Theory of Justice

Published in print January 1980 | ISBN: 9780198246190
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680946 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198246190.003.0010
Of the Objects of Allegiance

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This chapter discusses the following: (1) The rationality of the principles by which we determine who is to rule us. (2) Tension between Hume's view that characteristics are virtues if they are useful, together with his own tendency to recommend things because they are useful, and his view that men are caused to favour some governments for reasons other than their utility. (3) Three ways in which Hume attempts to remove any appearance of inconsistency between the above views. (4) Hume's utilitarian justification of allegiance conflicts with the morality of most people. (5) Hume's argument that the legislative cannot always change the law, and the doctrine of natural law. (6) Hume's view that princes may acquire the right to rule from their successors. (7) The connection between the legitimacy of law, its acceptance, and force. (8) The effect of the imagination upon the making and interpretation of law, and the rationality of law.

Keywords: rule; virtues; utilitarianism; allegiance; morality; natural law; imagination

Chapter.  8708 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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