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LegitimacyThe State and Beyond$
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Wojciech Sadurski, Michael Sevel, and Kevin Walton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198825265

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198825265.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 September 2021

Legitimate Political Authority and Expertise

Legitimate Political Authority and Expertise

(p.32) II Legitimate Political Authority and Expertise

Fabienne Peter

Oxford University Press

Can legitimate political authority be based on expertise? Stephen Darwall has argued that it cannot. According to Darwall, legitimate political authority requires a mode of justification involving mutual accountability, which is exemplified by public reason. Darwall has objected to the influential Razian account of legitimate political authority that it conflates expertise and legitimate political authority. In a first move, this chapter defends Raz’s account against Darwall’s objection and argues that expertise can be a ground of legitimate political authority. It also argues that mutual accountability remains important for political legitimacy, however. That is because political decisions often concern complex issues on which sufficiently robust expertise is not available.

Keywords:   legitimacy, authority, expertise, public reason, democracy, Stephen Darwall, Joseph Raz

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