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Communities of RespectGrounding Responsibility, Authority, and Dignity$
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Bennett W. Helm

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198801863

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198801863.001.0001

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Responsibility, Authority, and the Bindingness of Norms

Responsibility, Authority, and the Bindingness of Norms

(p.121) 5 Responsibility, Authority, and the Bindingness of Norms
Communities of Respect

Bennett W. Helm

Oxford University Press

In having reactive attitudes, we hold each other responsible to the norms of a community. Doing so appropriately presupposes both that one has the requisite authority and that the other is bound by that norm. We can understand this by turning to communities of respect and the patterns of reactive attitudes discussed in Chapter 3. As a member of a community of respect, one is party to a joint commitment, constituted by interpersonal rational patterns of reactive attitudes, to the import of that community and thereby to the import of its members and norms. This joint commitment binds one to those norms and makes one be responsible to them. Likewise, to have authority is to have dignity as a member of such a community and so be a fit object of recognition respect by others who thereby normally ought to respond to the “call” of one’s reactive attitudes.

Keywords:   responsibility, authority, bindingness, communal norms, community, membership

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