Obedience and Believing a Person

Philosophical Investigations 39 (1):58-77 (2016)

Benjamin McMyler
University of Minnesota
I argue that there is a mutually illuminating parallel between the concept of obedience and the concept of believing a person. Just as both believing what a person says and believing what a person says for the reason that the person says it are insufficient for believing the person, so acting as a person demands and acting as a person demands for the reason that the person demands it are insufficient for obeying the person. Unlike the concept of believing a person, however, the concept of obedience has two distinct senses, one applying to coerced action and one applying to non-coerced action based on authoritative directives. While the former sense of obedience has no theoretical analogue, the latter sense of obedience can be understood as the practical analogue of the theoretical case of believing a person, making room for a deep parallel between believing and acting on authority
Keywords obedience  testimony  reasons  authority
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DOI 10.1111/phin.12087
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References found in this work BETA

The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Harvard University Press.
Controlling Attitudes.Pamela Hieronymi - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (1):45-74.

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