The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
What's so great about it? Simple: Huemer scrupulously reasons from widely shared moral premises to surprising conclusions. There's no question begging, no obscurantism, and no bullet biting. The book begins by pointing out that if a private individual acted like a government, almost everyone would consider his behavior immoral. He then charitably considers all the major attempts to defend this asymmetry.
If you'd like to learn more about political views you disagree with, *The Problem of Political Authority* is ideal. Huemer earnestly tries to engage thoughtful readers of all descriptions. He toes no party line, makes no ad hominems, and never hectors. He's just a very smart, broadly knowledgeable scholar making a careful case for a controversial conclusion.
P.S. If you want to know more about Huemer's intellectual qualities before you buy, check out his TED talk:[...]
Michael Huemer is an anarchist philosopher. Like most anarchists, he is struck by the compelling virtue of anarchist ideas and their value for healing our world. Unlike some anarchists, he also seems well aware of how completely crazy anarchist ideas can seem to the uninitiated. Being perceived as crazy doesn't help communication, even if you are right. This careful, sober and sedate presentation can strike nobody as crazy, though the quiet presentation cloaks incendiary ideas.
This book's strength is not in its ability to grip the reader, nor in new concepts, for the ideas it raises are discussed in great detail in many other places. Rather the book's value is in its up to date presentation of the core elements of the anarchist canon and the care Dr. Huemer has taken to present those ideas in ways that would be accessible to the average intelligent adult, without condescending or sacrificing clarity and rigour. I marked many of Dr. Huemer's formulations to use in my own conversations. Dr. Huemer is also at scrupulous pains to understand opposing arguments and present them, not as straw men, but as the way they'd want to be presented. He is then polite and almost apologetic as he demolishes them.Read more ›
The topic that Humer’s astonishing tour de force concerns itself with is the moral and ethical underpinnings of state power, an area known in political philosophy as the "problem of political authority".
In considering the justification for the state, a nagging question naturally arises. Most people would claim it is morally impermissible for your neighbor to force you to give money to a charity of his choice at gunpoint. However, in stark contrast, most people would claim it is permissible for the state to do essentially the same thing, that is, to extort taxes from you using the threat of force in order to spend those funds on projects other than your own.
Most people appear to claim there is an important difference between these cases — otherwise, they would not believe in the legitimacy of the state.
The eponymous problem of political authority is the question of what the distinction between these cases might be — on what basis, if any, might we justify this difference in treatment between the behavior we consider ethically justified from individual actors versus the power we accord to the state.
Huemer systematically addresses the justifications that have been articulated for political authority over the centuries, from hypothetical social contract theory to consequentialism and everything in between. I will give away the punchline by noting that his arguments would appear to fatally damage all of them.
Political philosophers often start by attempting to construct a complete moral framework within which they justify their positions.Read more ›
I'd like to see Dr. Huemer create a webpage which lists all the questions he gets after this book and his responses.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Admittedly, I am only 60% through this book. I had to stop and rate it. This is quite possibly the best book I have read. No, scratch that. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Thirty bucks for a kindle book? Really? Especially when the paperback is only a buck fifty more... Sorry, not spending $30 on a eBook.Published 3 months ago by Trailer Park Prepper dot com
I read the posted first chapter and analytics. The prices are too high, number one. Thirty bucks for an ebook? Read morePublished 4 months ago by O Otvos
First of all I would definitely recommend this book as an introduction to anarcho-capitalist ideas. Virtually no need for prior knowledge and mostly calling for moral intuitions... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Marius Mollersen
This is an anti-government, pro-anarchy work in two parts. First, it takes a political philosophy approach to the problem of government: why do we obey; what is the moral basis of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Hunter Hastings
This book is awesome. The thing I like most about Huemer is how he takes a difficult subject for most people--anarchy, and philosophy in general--and explains it in professional... Read morePublished 5 months ago by M. Ivey
The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude by Etienne de la Boetie has been my favorite book on this issue in political philosophy. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Frances
This is simply an outstanding book on political philosophy. What makes it so good in my opinion is that Huemer draws his conclusion from some rather straightforward assumptions... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Book Fanatic
This is the best political philosophy book I've ever read so far. Michael Huemer relies on the best argumentative strategy there is, which is starting from premises that are more... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Helio Carneiro
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