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Legal Directives and Practical Reasons$
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Noam Gur

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199659876

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199659876.001.0001

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Lack of Authority

Lack of Authority

(p.31) 3 Lack of Authority
Legal Directives and Practical Reasons

Noam Gur

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers what was entitled in Chapter 2 the no-authority reply. The discussion revolves around prerequisites of legitimate authority that could ground this reply in a manner consistent with the pre-emption thesis’s core tenets. Section 3.1 considers the legitimacy prerequisites stated in Raz’s ‘service conception of authority’, and Section 3.2 focuses on jurisdictional and procedural limitations on authoritative power. It is found that these different prerequisites cannot rule out the possible occurrence of disobedience-warranting situations under a legitimate authority. Section 3.3 discusses the suggestion that authority is limited to the effect that its directives are not binding if clearly wrong. It is shown that Raz is disinclined to accept this suggestion, and that accepting it would collapse his pre-emption thesis (with the notion of exclusionary reasons at its heart) into a substantively different model.

Keywords:   conditions of legitimate authority, the service conception of authority, the independence condition, the normal justification thesis, the dependence thesis, jurisdictional and procedural limitations of authority, clearly wrong directives

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