Lectures on the Principles of Political Obligation
The present work is Thomas Hill Green’s account of his conception of ‘the common good’ and its importance in determining a set of criteria that will give us the means to evaluate the conduct of political establishments. The principles of political obligation are all founded on this attractive idea of a common good, and Green is able to apply his principles to a wide range of matters from land law to personal freedom.
How well the book succeeds in convincing the reader that a common good ought to act as a basis for evaluating the role of political establishments may be unclear. But there can be little doubt that the work is one of the most important contributions to political philosophy made by any English philosopher, and almost certainly the single most important contribution made by any British idealist. The book has attracted philosophers, sociologists, politologists and others since the day of its appearance, and continues to fuel lively debate today.
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