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A Study On The Logic,Debates And Theoretical Dilemma Of Modern Western Consent Theory

Posted on:2021-03-23Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:T M DaiFull Text:PDF
GTID:1366330632951401Subject:Political Theory
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
The legitimacy of the state has always been a core issue in political philosophy.In a long period of time,the discussion of the legitimacy of the state is around the consent theory.The consent theory argues that the legitimacy of the state is based on the consent of the governed.The consent theory has been forcefully expressed both in important western political documents and in the writings of famous political thinkers such as Hobbes,Locke and Rousseau.As a result of the extreme pursuit of the values of freedom and autonomy,the Western liberal world has always taken the consent of citizens as the value basis of liberal democracy,and even once considered consent as the legitimate source of public power with the same certainty as mathematical axioms.Can the consent theory succeed in justifying the state?The answer to this question begins with understanding consent.The understanding of consent includes two aspects:the concept of consent and the conditions for valid consent.The conceptual problem of consent is also called the ontological problem of consent.Since the main function of consent lies in the realization of moral transformation,the academic world has formed two positions on the ontology of consent: the theory of psychological state and the theory of behavior,centering on the necessity and sufficiency of the consenter's psychological state in the transformation of morality.It is found that it is not only necessary but also sufficient for the moral transformation of consenting person's psychological state to the behavior of others.The position of the state of mind on consent is the right one.For the condition of Valid consent,there are two defining principles: the principle of autonomy and the principle of fair treatment.The principle of autonomy holds that a person's consent in the state of autonomy is Valid consent.Theprinciple of fair treatment holds that the consent of the subject is valid as long as the recipient does not treat the accuser unfairly.The principle of fair treatment has a number of advantages,the most important of which is that it takes into account the impossibility of people making fully autonomous consent in complex real life situations.In view of these advantages,this paper argues that the principle of fair treatment is a better way to identify Valid consent.The understanding of consent is a basic work in the understanding of consent theory.A complete understanding of consent theory also needs to make clear the logic that consent theory justifies the state.The consent theory argues that the legitimacy of the state is based on the consent of the governed.Merely stating that consent has the function of moral transformation does not directly lead to this conclusion.The derivation of the consent theory depends on the existence of three additional propositions.The first is the illegitimacy of the weakest state.Libertarians,such as Nozick,argue that the weakest state is itself justified.The weakest state is not based on consent,and the legitimacy of the weakest state means the failure of the consent theory.However,it is found that the rights and obligations implemented by the weakest state far exceed people's natural rights and obligations,and are not legitimate in themselves.Second,the state is verifiable.It is only when the state is better than all anarchy that reason drives men into the state and the contradiction between freedom and obedience arises.Consent theory has room to play a role.The study found that the state could prove it.The state is not only better than the state of nature,but there is no better alternative than the state.Third,the justification and legitimacy of the state are separated.The fact that the state can be proved does not mean that the state is just.If the contradiction between freedom and obedience only arises from the unjust state,then the contradiction can be resolved if the state improves its just situation.The fact that a state is just means that it is legitimate.The legitimacy of the state does not need to be based on the consent of the governed.But the research finds that the justification of state is separate from the legitimacy of state.Whatever the degree of justice in a country,it is not justified without the consent of the governed.Therefore,the legitimacy of the state needs to be based on the consent of the governed.As a classical theory,consent theory has been criticized a lot since its birth.This paper,based on the views of Simons,argues that the consent theory can give an effective response to the current criticism.For example,according to the logic of consent theory,consent to unjust states would also legitimize such states,which is clearly counterintuitive.The response of consent theory to this is that consent can transform morality when people agree to what they have the right to do.The right to do wrong is not only habitual in the conceptual sense,but also verifiable in the value sense.When citizens agree to be in an unjust state,they are merely exercising their right to do wrong.So there is nothing wrong with consent giving legitimacy to unjust states.And because people have only a limited right to do wrong.Agreeing with states that are grossly unjust goes beyond the right to do wrong,and agreeing with the success of the theory does not mean that tyrannical states have legitimacy.The successful response to the current criticism does not mean the success of the agreement theory,it also faces a deeper theoretical dilemma.The consent theory holds that citizens have the obligation to obey the state because they promise to obey the state.Only when the promise itself can produce the obligation can the political obligation of obeying the state be imposed on itself through the promise of obeying the state.But why should a promise be bound to keep it?Conventionalists,represented by Hume and Rawls,believe that keeping promises is a social custom.If the promiser does not keep the promise after taking advantage of this social custom,then all those who participate in the construction of this custom will be treated unfairly.For the sake of fairness,a promiser who has made a promise should assume the obligation to keep it.But the problem with the conventionalist interpretation is that according to this interpretation,to break a promise is to mistreat everyone in society.But the general intuition is that a promiser who breaks a promise is only wrong for the promisee.Thus,the conventionalism of commitment is not successful.Scanlan,on the other hand,used the theory of expectation to explain the obligation of keeping promises and supported the loyalty principle of the theory of expectation.He believed that the promise of the promisee would cause the certainty of the promisee under certain conditions,and the certainty would be valuable,while the breach of thepromise would damage the value of the certainty.So when people make a promise,they have an obligation to keep it.But the expectationist interpretation faces two kinds of criticism.First,there are numerous counterexamples in which a clear letter is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for the generation of a commitment obligation.Second,the theory of expectation is faced with a serious problem of circular argument.Therefore,the expectation theory is also unsuccessful in its interpretation of commitment obligations.Raz uses the theory of voluntariness to explain the obligation to keep commitments.The voluntary theory holds that commitment is a way for people to exercise normative power.To have normative power means that one can impose obligations on oneself simply by virtue of one's own will,without recourse to factors outside the will.The success of voluntarianism depends on whether people have the normative power to promise,which in turn depends on whether it is worthwhile to have such normative power.It is generally believed that the normative power of commitment can achieve two values: first,it can establish a relationship of equal respect between people.Second,it can serve the interests of people's authority.But just because it's desirable to be able to fly doesn't mean that we have the ability to fly,it doesn't mean that it's valuable to have normative power doesn't mean that people actually have normative power.Therefore,voluntary interpretation of commitment obligations is not successful.In short,since it is impossible to explain in a coherent way why a promised country should undertake the obligation of undertaking,the consent theory also fails to answer why a consenting state should undertake the political obligation of obeying the state.Thus,the justification of the consent theory for the legitimacy of the state does not succeed,even if it falls back to the position of philosophical anarchism,until it provides a more attractive justification for the above question.
Keywords/Search Tags:The legitimacy of the state, Consent theory, The right to do wrong, The Obligation of keeping promise
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