Political Obligation and the Particularity Problem: A Note on Markie


P.J. Markie tries to solve the so-called particularity problem of natural duty accounts of political obligation, a problem which seems to make natural duty accounts implausible. I argue that Markie at best “dissolves” the problem: while his own natural duty account of political obligation still does not succeed in ensuring particularity, this is not an implausible but an entirely plausible implication of his account, thanks to the weakness of his concept of political obligation. The price for this, however, is that his approach has little to do with political obligation and the particularity problem as discussed in the literature.

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Uwe Steinhoff
University of Hong Kong


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