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Political Theory

Political Theory

Karl Widerquist

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Chapter 4 (Draft): John Locke And The Hobbesian Hypothesis: How A Very Similar Colonial Prejudice Found Its Way Into The Natural Rights Justification Of Private Property, Karl Widerquist, Grant Mccall Oct 2015

Chapter 4 (Draft): John Locke And The Hobbesian Hypothesis: How A Very Similar Colonial Prejudice Found Its Way Into The Natural Rights Justification Of Private Property, Karl Widerquist, Grant Mccall

Karl Widerquist

This chapter is a preliminary draft of Chapter 4 of the book, "Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy." The role of this chapter is to show that what we call "the Hobbesian Hypothesis" is an essential premise in John Locke's justification of private property. The Hobbesian hypothesis, in this context, is the claim that everyone is better off in a society with private land and resource ownership (even if they own no land or resources) than they could reasonably except to be in a society in which these resources remained unowned and people lived as hunter-gatherers. This chapter does ...


Chapter 3 (Draft) The Hobbesian Hypothesis: How A Colonial Prejudice Became An Essential Premise In The Most Popular Justification Of Government, Karl Widerquist, Grant Mccall Aug 2015

Chapter 3 (Draft) The Hobbesian Hypothesis: How A Colonial Prejudice Became An Essential Premise In The Most Popular Justification Of Government, Karl Widerquist, Grant Mccall

Karl Widerquist

This chapter is a draft of Chapter Three of the book that Grant McCall and I are writing. The book is called, "Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy." This chapter shows now Hobbes introduce an empirical claim into his most influential justification of the state. We call this claim the Hobbesian hypothesis: everyone is better off under the authority of a sovereign government than everyone would be outside of that authority. The chapter argue that this hypothesis is a strong, counterfactual, empirical claim about people in small-scale stateless societies that has not been well-established by empirical evidence.


Myths About The State Of Nature And The Reality Of Stateless Societies, Karl Widerquist, Grant Mccall Dec 2014

Myths About The State Of Nature And The Reality Of Stateless Societies, Karl Widerquist, Grant Mccall

Karl Widerquist

This article is a spin-off of my book project (with Grant McCall), "Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy." This article makes the following points. Most justifications of government using social contact theory (contractarianism) require a claim we call, “the Hobbesian hypothesis,” which we define as the claim that all people are better off under state authority than they would be outside of it. The Hobbesian hypothesis is an empirical claim about all stateless societies. Many small-scale societies are stateless. Anthropological evidence from the smallest-scale human societies provides sufficient reason to doubt the truth of the hypothesis, if not to reject ...


The Big Casino, Karl Widerquist Dec 2013

The Big Casino, Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist

This paper uses an analogy to illustrate two things: (1) the economy is and will always be a casino, and (2) in existing societies and most libertarian, liberal, and socialist visions of society individuals are effectively forced to participate in the casino economy. It argues justice requires that individuals must be free from forced participation in such an economy and that the best way to free people from forced participation is the provision of a Basic Income Guarantee.


Why We Demand An Unconditional Basic Income: The Ecso Freedom Case, Karl Widerquist Dec 2010

Why We Demand An Unconditional Basic Income: The Ecso Freedom Case, Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist

Philippe Van Parijs’s (1995) Real Freedom for All: What (If Anything) Can Justify Capitalism makes a very thorough and challenging philosophical argument for basic income. But I believe that it has two important limitations that inhibit it from giving a compelling explanation why basic income supporters believe that support for the disadvantage must be not only universal but also unconditional and enough to meet an individual’s basic needs. This essay briefly discusses those limitations and then proposes an alternative argument for basic income that I believe relies on a more compelling concept of freedom, defined below as “Freedom ...