Obedience and Believing a Person

Philosophical Investigations 39 (1):58-77 (2015)
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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



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Benjamin McMyler
University of Minnesota

Citations of this work

Entkräftung und Widerruf: Fügsame Überzeugungen im Zeitverlauf.Benjamin McMyler - 2019 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 67 (6):992-1007.

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Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.

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