An Essay on Government

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Gordon takes issue with some of the main natural law theorists, Pufendorf, Barbeyrac and Grotius, over the right of subjects to obey a tyrannical king or of slaves to obey their master. Gordon goes to the root of the problem by discussing the origin of the state in one of more supposed “contracts” between the people and a sovereign king. He concludes that even if a contract does exist it does not therefore allow a tyrant king to act unchecked.

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An Essay on Government (London: J. Roberts, 1747).

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