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STATE OF THE ART:: The Duty to Obey the Law

  • William A. Edmundson (a1)
Extract

Philosophy, despite its typical attitude of detachment and abstraction, has for most of its long history been engaged with the practical and mundane-seeming question of whether there is a duty to obey the law. As Matthew Kramer has recently summarized: “For centuries, political and legal theorists have pondered whether each person is under a general obligation of obedience to the legal norms of the society wherein he or she lives. The obligation at issue in those theorists' discussions is usually taken to be prima-facie, comprehensively applicable, universally borne, and content-independent.” This essay is a commentary on the current state of discussion of this perennial philosophical topic.

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