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Political Obligation in its Historical Context
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What sort of commitments do human beings have good reason to acknowledge to one another and to the social units (family, tribe, state) to which they belong? Is the sovereign authority of the state anywhere or everywhere a true moral authority, or is it simply a coercive capacity of varying force, reposing on a range of effectively touted false beliefs? What political obligations, if any, do men truly have? The central questions of political philosophy have not lessened in practical urgency or in theoretical difficulty in recent decades. But they have become increasingly hard to address in an intellectually serious fashion and modern thinkers have become increasingly reluctant even to try to address them in such a fashion. Mr Dunn's collection of essays records an attempt to recapture the sense and character of these questions by approaching them from an unusually broad variety of perspectives.

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