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Political philosophy What can states legitimately do? Why should we obey the laws that the state makes? What justifies the distribution of resources within.

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Presentation on theme: "Political philosophy What can states legitimately do? Why should we obey the laws that the state makes? What justifies the distribution of resources within."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political philosophy What can states legitimately do? Why should we obey the laws that the state makes? What justifies the distribution of resources within the community that the law supports?

2 What is a state? The apparatus of organised power within a community. The institutions that make and enforce laws within a community. The institutions that can legitimately use force and violence within a community.

3 What is a right? Something you are free to do (no one can legitimately stop you). Something you have a claim to be provided with (someone has a duty to provide you with it, and you can legitimately require it of them).

4 Kinds of right Positive rights Freedoms and claims which you have under the laws of a particular state Natural rights Freedoms and claims which you have anyway, just as a human being. (now usually called: human rights)

5 John Locke Two Treatises of Government (1690)


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