Exam 1 Flashcards Preview

Social Philosophy > Exam 1 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Exam 1 Deck (67)
Loading flashcards...

Philosophical Anarchism

the view that there are no good moral reasons why we should obey government; hence, we have no moral obligation to submit to governmental authority.



Human beings having capacity to think and act for themselves, therefore able to govern themselves.


Principle of Divine Right

government is an institution willed by God for the benefit of His people, and God has granted certain people the right to govern others on His behalf.


Principle of Superiority

those who are superior have a right to rule over those who are inferior. Those who are experts in the art of governing—those who understand what is good for the community as a whole and have the will to do what is good for the community as a whole—have a right to rule.



means "rule by the best" principle defended by Plato and Aristotle where the experts who know best or are best at a given subject govern those who are inferior



a society in which (a) there is equality of opportunity, and (b) rewards and remuneration (e.g., desirable social positions and income) gained by individuals are proportional to their individual desert. In a meritocracy, citizens “race” or “compete” with others for desirable social positions and income. The race or competition must be fair—each citizen must have an equal opportunity to win the race or competition.


Principle of Consent (Social Contract)

-governmental authority is justified by virtue of the consent (voluntary agreement) of the governed.
-Thomas Hobbes


State of Nature

- a condition in which there is no functioning government—where there is no law, no police, no courts, etc.
-Hobbes argues that life in a state of nature would be a “war of every man against every man”


Express (Explicit) Consent

the behavior itself of Voluntarily giving consent to be govern


Tacit (Implicit) Consent

giving a implied consent through
-obey the government by accepting benefits from the government -being within the jurisdiction of the government.


Right To Exit

-a component of Tacit Consent
-someone does not wish to be subject to a government’s authority, Locke says, that person may always leave (exit) the country.


Principle of Utility

-the basic aim of morality is to maximize the greatest good for the greatest number of people
- if the government accomplishes this then it morally justified for citizens to submit to its authority


Principle of Gratitude

obligation to submit to authority on the grounds that citizens are showing thankfulness for benefits they have received


Civil Disobedience

a citizens moral right to defy governmental authority?


Legal Justification

Though normally wrong, given the circumstance in this scenario the act is deemed right


Exculpating Excuse

One is not blameworthy at all for the civil disobedience


Mitigating Excuse

One is less blameworthy than usual for civil disobedience



the consequences of one's conduct are the ultimate basis for any judgment about the rightness or wrongness of that conduct.



are moral entitlements
-if one has a right or entitlement it is morally wrong to deny that right


Negative Right (Liberty)

holder of a negative (liberty) right is morally entitled to non-interference. Examples include :
-the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;
-the rights to free speech and assembly;
-the right to freely exercise one’s religion;
-the right to bear arms;
-the right to property.


Positive Right (Benefit)

one who holds a positive right is morally entitled to be provided with some good or service. Examples:
-the right to subsistence goods (food, clothing, and shelter);
-the rights to an education, healthcare, and a job.


Natural (Human) Right

rights that people have simply in virtue of their being humans. Natural rights are universal in the sense that all people have these rights regardless of where they reside.


Artificial Right (Conventional, Civil, Political)

rights that people have in virtue of their membership in some specific social-political community. These rights are relative in the sense that people in one social-political community may have certain civil rights that people in another social-political community do not have.


Eminent Domain

the right for the government to take away private property from an Invidivdual without consent for a common good



-social-political ideologies of the modern world.
-Major philosophical exponents of liberalism include John Locke, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, John Rawls, and Robert Nozick.
-The United States is, in broad terms, a liberal society.


Two components of Liberalism

1) there is a strong presumption in favor of individual liberty (freedom);
2) the state should be neutral with respect to different conceptions of the good life.


Harm to others Principle

-Created by John Stuart Mill
- (Social Coercrion) is justified only as a means to prevent harm to others.
• When may society legitimately restrict individual liberty?
-Only when doing so is necessary to prevent harm to others
• What should society aim to accomplish by restricting liberty?
-We should aim only to prevent other people from being harmed
• Are there certain behaviors that are simply “none of society’s business”?
-Yes, behaviors that pose no risk of harm to others


Legal Moralism

-Legal moralism is the view that the law may legitimately be used to prohibit behaviors that conflict with society's collective moral judgments, even when those behaviors do not result in harm to others. -In short, the law can and should be used to promote morality and discourage immorality.



-approach to social and political questions that was mapped out initially by Edmund Burke (1730-97), though it draws on earlier lines of thought dating back to Hobbes (1588-1679) and even to Aristotle (384-322 BCE),
-believe that strong (authoritative) social and political institutions (e.g., family, religion, law) are indispensable to social order and stability.


Three Components of Conservatism

-Human Imperfection