Consent and its Cousins

William A. Edmundson

Georgia State University College of Law


Ethics, Vol. 121, 2011
Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-08

Consent theories of political obligation draw upon the unique powers consent exhibits in everyday dealings, but they are frustrated by the "problem of massive nonconsent." Expansions of what is counted as consent, such as tacit or hypothetical consent, have seemed untrue to the core concept of giving willing consent. David Estlund proposes a novel conception, "normative consent," to address the problem of massive nonconsent while being true to "the idiom of consent." This comment details consent’s virtues and shows that consent theories cannot claim enough of them to vindicate political obligation.

Keywords: political obligation, consent, normative consent, nonconsent, obligation

JEL Classification: K00

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Date posted: April 26, 2011 ; Last revised: May 2, 2011

Suggested Citation

Edmundson, William A., Consent and its Cousins (2011). Ethics, Vol. 121, 2011; Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-08. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1822470

Contact Information

William A. Edmundson (Contact Author)
Georgia State University College of Law ( email )
P.O. Box 4037
Urban Life Building, Room 402 140 Decatur Street
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States
404-413-9167 (Phone)
404-413-9225 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://law.gsu.edu/wedmundson/

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