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Political Philosophy: the study of the nature and justification of political institutions. Nov 20: The justification of political authority • Natural Law (Pufendorf), Social Contract (Hobbes), Natural Rights (Locke) Nov 27: The role of government

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political philosophy the study of the nature and justification of political institutions
Political Philosophy: the study of the nature and justification of political institutions

Nov 20: The justification of political authority

• Natural Law (Pufendorf), Social Contract (Hobbes), Natural Rights (Locke)

Nov 27: The role of government

• Liberalism (Rawls), Libertarianism (Nozick), Communitarianism (Sandel)

Nov 29: Individual Liberty and the Limits of Governmental Interference: Mill, Feinberg

natural law samuel pufendorf
Natural Law:Samuel Pufendorf

(1632-94)

  • Human beings are naturally sociable and are obligated through God-given laws of nature to do what is necessary to survive
  • We form and must respect civil governments as means to achieve our natural (and rational) ends
social contract theory thomas hobbes
Social Contract Theory:Thomas Hobbes
  • Fear of others in the state of nature (apart from society) prompts people to enter into a social contract
  • Governmental authority is based on the choice of individuals to give up their rights and keep their promise to abide by the social contract in order to achieve peace

(1588-1679)

natural rights john locke
Natural Rights:John Locke

(1632-1704)

  • We have God-given rights to our life, liberty, and property (gained through labor)
  • We establish governments to clarify and protect our freedom and natural rights (especially the ownership of property)
  • State authority is based on the explicit or tacit consent of the majority of a people