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In a recent two-part article in this journal, John Horton offers reasons to reject ‘philosophical anarchism’, and claims that rejecting that view should lead us to an ‘associative’ account of political obligations. This article argues for a different conclusion. The claim that local obligations are irreducible or independent is vulnerable to critique, and does not provide a compelling account of moral conflict. Rejecting philosophical anarchism should lead us to a version of moral universalism that can find a place for local attachment.