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  • © 2013

The Problem of Political Authority

An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey

Palgrave Macmillan

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Softcover Book USD 109.99
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Table of contents (13 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxviii
  2. The Illusion of Authority

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 1-1
    2. The Problem of Political Authority

      • Michael Huemer
      Pages 3-19
    3. The Traditional Social Contract Theory

      • Michael Huemer
      Pages 20-35
    4. The Hypothetical Social Contract Theory

      • Michael Huemer
      Pages 36-58
    5. The Authority of Democracy

      • Michael Huemer
      Pages 59-80
    6. Consequentialism and Fairness

      • Michael Huemer
      Pages 81-100
    7. The Psychology of Authority

      • Michael Huemer
      Pages 101-136
    8. What if There Is No Authority?

      • Michael Huemer
      Pages 137-179
  3. Society without Authority

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 181-181
    2. Evaluating Social Theories

      • Michael Huemer
      Pages 183-197
    3. The Logic of Predation

      • Michael Huemer
      Pages 198-229
    4. Individual Security in a Stateless Society

      • Michael Huemer
      Pages 230-264
    5. Criminal Justice and Dispute Resolution

      • Michael Huemer
      Pages 265-287
    6. War and Societal Defense

      • Michael Huemer
      Pages 288-320
    7. From Democracy to Anarchy

      • Michael Huemer
      Pages 321-338
  4. Back Matter

    Pages 339-365

About this book

The state is often ascribed a special sort of authority, one that obliges citizens to obey its commands and entitles the state to enforce those commands through threats of violence. This book argues that this notion is a moral illusion: no one has ever possessed that sort of authority.

Authors and Affiliations

  • University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

    Michael Huemer

About the author

Michael Huemer is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA, where he has worked since 1998. He is the author of Skepticism and the Veil of Perception and Ethical Intuitionism , as well as more than 40 articles in ethics, epistemology, political philosophy, and metaphysics.

Bibliographic Information

Buy it now

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access