John Milton and the consent theory tradition
Wyant, Michelle Ann
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Resting on the notions of the individual, will, and choice, consent theory concerns with the legitimacy of government and authority as derived from the consent of the citizens. order to consent to a government, the citizens must possess both choice and a full understanding of the terms to which they are consenting. Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Rawls all participate in the consent theory tradition. Analyzing both John Milton’s Paradise Lost and prose works in light of their theories and the consent theory tradition reveals that knowledge serves as the basis for consent, for it produces the necessary choice and full understanding that must be present. John Milton’s works not only are relevant but also contribute to the consent theory tradition.