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Political Philosophy - Essay Example

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Political Philosophy

What is the rationalization of political authority? Why should man abide by government rules? Some have emphasized the need for order and protection as the answer to these questions. Nonetheless, many other answers have been offered towards the justification of government including Robert Wolff’s anarchist answer, Hobbes absolutist answer, and John Locke’s democratic answer. According to the anarchist answer, the state does not have the mandate to impose all its wishes upon an individual. In essence, autonomy is a primary moral need; therefore, the state has no right to go against it in any way. Robert Wolff’s “In Defense of anarchism” concurs with the idea that the state has no moral authority over any individual. On the other hand, the Absolutist answer describes that the state of nature, without political security is barbarous, dangerous, as well as, impoverished, that is rational to give major freedom to the government or state in order to gain security or peace. Hobbes agrees with this statement in his “Leviathan”. In the Democratic Answer, John Locke concurs with Hobbes when he states that individuals can contract with the government in order to give up on some freedom in exchange of security. Nonetheless, he disagrees with him on the degree of which people should surrender to the state. According to Locke, it is illogical to give up natural rights to representation, property, life and other goods, than slavery to the government. Political philosophy seeks to question the legitimacy of taxation, state’s authority, and the best form of government. ...
2.1 The Meaning of Political Authority Politics refers to the exercise of state’s power; therefore, political philosophy is the philosophy of the state (Pojman, 482). What is the state? Wolff defines the state as a group of individuals that possesses and practices the supreme authority over a specific population or within a certain territory. Therefore, the state may include every individual who falls under its jurisdiction. Two terms emerge from this definition, authority and power. Authority refers to the right to command while power means the ability to command compliance. A government has the right to tax its subjects because it has authority over them. Claiming authority means claiming the right to be obeyed (Pojman, 482-3). The expression authority, nonetheless, is ambiguous since it has both a normative and descriptive sense. Arguably, the state is the highest authority; however, its right to authority appears to be less than absolute. The individual who issues the command acts as the occasion for one to become aware of their duty, which is different from the idea that the government has a right to command. Men in de facto states believe in the existence of justifiable authority. However, they may all be wrong since such states may never be in existence. 2.2 The Idea of Autonomy Moral philosophy assumes that men ought to choose how they shall act, in some sense (Pojman, 483). Being responsible is all about trying to determine what one should do, which requires criticizing principles, predicting outcomes, gaining knowledge, and reflecting on motives among many other things. Every person with both reason and free will is obliged to take responsibility for every action, although he may not be actively continuing to reflect, ...Show more

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What is the rationalization of political authority? Why should man abide by government rules? Some have emphasized the need for order and protection as the answer to these questions…
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Political Philosophy essay example
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