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Rights, Culture and the LawThemes from the Legal and Political Philosophy of Joseph Raz$
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Lukas H. Meyer, Stanley L. Paulson, and Thomas W. Pogge

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248254

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248254.001.0001

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Authority for Officials

Authority for Officials

(p.45) 4 Authority for Officials
Rights, Culture and the Law


Oxford University Press

In philosophical discussions of authority, we often have in mind a confrontation between an official and a subject. Some ordinary citizen with views of his own about how to behave confronts an official directive which purports to steer him on a path he would not have chosen had he been left to his own devices. Can submission to such directives ever be justified? Joseph Raz's work on authority has consisted in elaborating the conditions that would have to be satisfied, in terms of the subject's reasons for action, before an affirmative answer could be given. However, not all questions of authority are of this type. They do not all involve subjects' responses to directives from officials. This chapter considers authority as between officials or institutions. The principle of institutional settlement is also discussed, along with public settlement, coordination and salience, respect and compliance, pre-emption and dependence, and Raz's normal justification thesis.

Keywords:   Joseph Raz, authority, officials, principle of institutional settlement, institutions, coordination, salience, compliance, normal justification thesis, subjects

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