Authority, Accountability, and Preemption

Jurisprudence 2 (1):103-119 (2011)
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Joseph Raz's 'normal justification thesis' is that the normal way of justifying someone's claim to authority over another person is that the latter would comply better with the reasons that apply to him anyway were he to treat the former's directives as authoritative. Darwall argues that this provides 'reasons of the wrong kind' for authority. He turns then to Raz's claim that the fact that treating someone as an authority would enable one to comply better with reasons that apply to him anyway can ground the claim that the putative authority's directives provide 'pre-emptive' and 'exclusionary reasons' for acting. Raz is right that authoritative directives create such reasons, but that is because genuine authority entails accountability for compliance. Practical authority is internal to the concepts of authority and legitimate demand, and the pre-emptive and exclusionary character of reasons created by legitimate demands cannot be understood independently of their second-personal character



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Stephen Darwall
Yale University

References found in this work

Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Kantian constructivism in moral theory.John Rawls - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (9):515-572.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1982 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free will. New York: Oxford University Press.
The nature and value of rights.Joel Feinberg & Jan Narveson - 1970 - Journal of Value Inquiry 4 (4):243-260.

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