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Vol 23 No 6 June/July 2018

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Three Anarchical Fallacies: An Essay on Political Authority

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William A. EdmundsonGeorgia State University

ISBN13: 9780521624541
ISBN: 0521624541
Published: October 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £62.00

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How is a legitimate state possible? Obedience, coercion, and intrusion are three ideas that seem inseparable from all government and seem to render state authority presumptively illegitimate. This book exposes three fallacies inspired by these ideas and in doing so challenges assumptions shared by liberals, libertarians, cultural conservatives, moderates, and Marxists. In three clear and tightly-argued essays William Edmundson dispels these fallacies and shows that living in a just state remains a worthy ideal. This is an important book for all philosophers, political scientists, and legal theorists as well as other readers interested in the views of Rawls, Dworkin, and Nozick, many of whose central ideas are subjected to rigorous critique.

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Part I. The Fallacious Argument from the Failure of Political Obligation: ;1. Legitimacy and the duty to obey
2. The correlativity thesis
3. Legitimate political authority
Part II. The 'Law is Coercive' Fallacy: ;4. The concept of coercion
5. Political theory without coercion
6. Coercion Redivivus
Part III. The Inner Sphere of Privacy Fallacy: ;7. The private sphere
8. The moral and the social
9. The social and the political
The state for what?