Consent and the basis of political obligation with reference made to Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.
AbstractThis thesis considers the status of consent within both contemporary theories of political obligation, and within the theories of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. The definitions of consent and obligation offered at the beginning of the thesis seek to capture the paradigm meanings of both terms. It is argued that consent, as defined here, is difficult to locate either in contemporary political society, or in the systems described by Hobbes and Locke. In the latter case, the reasons for reaching this conclusion are not the ones most commonly offered. In assessing the role and status of consent in classic social contract theory, particular attention is given to Hobbes's accounts of human nature and the state of nature, as well as his theory of determinism. Locke's theory of natural law is also examined in terms of its political significance. The final conclusion reached in the thesis is that consent, as properly understood, should be a significant component of any acceptable theory of political obligation. However, this would require a substantial revision of the ordinary understanding of the concept, as well as a clearer understanding of the position of obligations within a general moral hierarchy.
Samoulla Farsides, Calliope Christina (1992) Consent and the basis of political obligation with reference made to Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).