Social and Political Philosophy - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 12 pages of information about Social and Political Philosophy.
This section contains 3,433 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
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Social and Political Philosophy

It is generally agreed that the central task of social and political philosophy is to provide a justification for coercive institutions. Coercive institutions range in size from the family to the nation-state and world organizations, like the United Nations, with their narrower and broader agendas for action. Yet essentially, they are institutions that at least sometimes employ force or the threat of force to control the behavior of their members to achieve either minimal or wide-ranging goals. To justify such coercive institutions, we need to show that the authorities within these institutions have a right to be obeyed and that their members have a corresponding duty to obey them. In other words, we need to show that these institutions have legitimate authority over their members.

In philosophical debate at the beginning of the twenty-first century, a number of competing justifications for coercive...

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This section contains 3,433 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Social and Political Philosophy Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Social and Political Philosophy from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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