Hypothetical Consent and Justification

Journal of Philosophy 97 (6):313 (2000)
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Abstract

Hypothetical contracts have been said to be not worth the paper they are not written on. This paper defends hypothetical consent theories of justice, such as Rawls's, against the view that they lack justificatory power. I argue that while hypothetical consent cannot generate political obligation, it can generate political legitimacy.

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Cynthia A. Stark
University of Utah

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