30 Credits AUTUMN

Pre-requisites: No

Yes - Political Philosophy

Aims/Description: States claim to have a right to issue binding directives to those within their jurisdiction. This entails that those within the jurisdiction have a moral obligation to obey those directives. The obligation to obey is said to be defeasible but general: it is said to hold with regard to (almost) all directives, (almost) all subjects, on (almost) all occasions. This is the claim of political obligation. It needs to be justified. This course will focus on both historical and contemporary justifications of political obligation. Lectures and discussions will explore such questions as: How do individuals acquire political obligation? Why do we assign a special moral status to the state and are we justified in doing so? Is political obligation required because of something individuals have or would have done? Is political obligation entailed by existence within political communities? Is political obligation merely the consequence of being a moral agent? Can political obligation be voluntarily acquired? Does it need to be?

Restrictions on availability: No

Staff Contact: Sally Weston
Teaching Methods: Lectures, Seminars, Tutorials, Independent Study
Assessment: Course work

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Philosophy):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK