The Purpose of Authority Control – Bibliographic Wilderness
Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD), previously known as Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records (FRSAR), is a conceptual entity-relationship. Further fundamental determinants of the authority relationship and relevant . of activation of the subjects enacting obedience or disobedience. In Scotland, a primary authority can provide services in relation to . the business follows the advice you have given, it should not be subject to.
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A theoretical authority in some area of intellectual inquiry is one that is an expert in that area. Theoretical authorities operate primarily by giving advice to the layman, which advice the layman is free to take or not. The judgments of theoretical authorities give people reasons for belief while the judgments of political authorities are normally thought to give people reasons for action.
Theoretical authorities do not normally impose duties on others, although they might give advice on what a person's duty is.
Most theorists of political authority view it as a species of practical authority rather than theoretical authority, though this view is not held by all. Those who hold that political authority is a species of practical authority maintain that political authorities issue directives that give people reasons for action and not reason for belief. The thought is that political authorities impose duties on their subjects and thereby give them reasons for action. These theorists argue that it is the function of political authorities to get people to act in certain ways so as to solve various collective action problems such as a variety of different types of coordination problems, assurance problems and free rider problems.
There have been some dissenting views on this of late. Some have argued that the account of practical reason required by the idea that political authority is a practical authority is incoherent and so they have opted for the idea that political authorities, when legitimate, are theoretical authorities regarding the existence and nature of the duties and reasons for action that people have Hurd Since this view is unusual this entry will concentrate on conceptions of political authority that treat it as a species of practical authority.
The rest of this section will discuss a number of different analyses of political authority. There are three basic types of conceptual account of legitimate political authority: First, many people have understood legitimate political authority as a political authority that is justified in coercing the subjects of its authority.
The notion of justification here is a moral one. The thought is that a political authority might have moral justification in coercing those who come under its authority. This is a particularly thin conception of legitimate authority. For instance, a state can have this kind of authority when it legitimately occupies a territory as a result of a just war. It is morally justified in coercing the inhabitants of the occupied territory.
The moral justification of a group of people in coercing others may be more or less systematic. For instance, a group of people may be morally justified in engaging in just a few actions of coercing others. Or a group may be morally justified in engaging in coercion more generally as in the case of a morally justified military occupation. This notion of authority need not involve duties on the part of the population that is being coerced.
Indeed, they may be justified in trying to escape coercion. This could be the case in a military occupation of a country that is justified on the grounds that it is necessary to stop a third country from engaging in morally indefensible aggression. This conception of morally justified coercion therefore involves no conception of a moral community among persons.
In this first conception of authority as justified coercion, the authority may not even issue commands let alone make laws.
It may simply justifiably issue threats and offers. The difference between legitimate and illegitimate political authority on this account is that the actions of the illegitimate political authority are not morally justified while the coercive actions of the legitimate authority are justified. A second conceptual account of legitimate political authority implies that those over whom authority is exercised have some kind of duty with regard to the authority.
Or the authority has the moral power to impose duties on the subjects. This duty can be merely a duty not to interfere with the activities of the political authority. Or it can involve the more significant duty to obey the authority. This conception of authority involves the authority and the subjects in a weak kind of moral relationship. The authority is justified in issuing the commands and attempting to force people to comply with the commands while the subjects have some kind of duty not to interfere with these activities or comply with the commands.
The duty of the subjects need not be owed to the authority. It may merely be that the subjects have a duty to obey where that duty is not owed to anyone in particular or where that duty is owed ultimately to people who are not the authority. For instance, if one thinks that one is likely better to respect others' rights by complying with the authority's directives, the action is ultimately owed to those others. Some have stressed the idea that the holding of justified political authority may only involve a duty on the part of others not to interfere with the political authority and they argue that the duty of non-interference is much weaker than a duty to obey Morris It is not clear how great the difference between these two duties is in practice at least as far as citizens are concerned.
For many cases of failing to obey an authority are cases of interference with the authority. An analogy may be helpful here. If one is playing a game of baseball with an umpire and one refuses to comply with the directives of the umpire, one is in effect interfering with the umpire's carrying out of his duties by not complying with the directives of the umpire. While a duty to obey seems to imply a duty not to interfere, there are cases of duties of non interference that are not duties to obey, such as the duties of foreign powers not to interfere in the activities of a legitimate state.
Furthermore, the duty to obey is clearly the more contentious issue in the question of authority since it requires that one make one's actions conform to the specific directives of the authority. A third conceptual account of authority or set of conceptions of legitimate authority involves the idea that the authority has a right to rule. Strictly speaking, an authority can have a right to rule without the subjects having a duty to comply. This means that the authority has a permission to issue commands and make rules and coerce others to comply and its possession of this right is justified on moral grounds.
A more robust right to rule includes a duty owed to the authority on the part of the subjects not to interfere with the activities of the authority. The subjects owe it to the authority not to interfere with it. This is connected with the right of the authority to rule. Finally, an authority can have a right to rule in the sense that it may issue commands and make rules and require subjects to comply with these rules and commands and the subjects have duties, which they owe to the authority, to comply with the rules and commands.
The distinction between a right to rule that is correlated with a duty not to interfere and one that is correlated with a duty to comply comes in handy when we consider the difference between the duties owed to a legitimate political authority by the subjects of that authority and the duties owed to it by other states and persons who are not subject to that authority.
A state with a right to rule in the strongest sense may be owed obedience by its subjects but it is usually owed only a duty of non interference by those who are not a part of the state such as other states and persons in other states. It is worthwhile drawing a distinction here between internal legitimacy and external legitimacy Buchanan It is not a useful aim of philosophers or political thinkers to determine which one of these conceptual accounts of political authority is the right one.
Each one of them grasps a kind of legitimacy of political authority that is worth taking into account and distinguishing from the others.Indian Partnership Act 1932 - Part 9 - Implied Authority of Partner CA-CPT (in Hindi)
The idea of legitimate authority as justified coercive power is a suitable way of getting at the authority of hostile but justified occupation powers. And the idea of legitimate authority as an authority that has a right to rule over subjects who owe obedience to the authority and that has a right not to be interfered with by foreigners is surely an importantly distinct and perhaps ideal type of authority, which is rarely implemented.
The kind of legitimacy that is merely correlated with duties to obey or not to interfere is a useful intermediate category between those two. What is worth noting is that the idea of legitimate authority as a right to rule in the strong sense described above does describe a kind of ideal of political community.
The idea of legitimate authority as a right to rule to which citizens owe obedience gives each citizen a moral duty to obey, which it owes to the authority. So this form of legitimacy is grounded in a moral relationship between the parties that goes beyond the fact that they are fellow human beings. The establishment of a robust right to rule depends on the fact that each citizen rightly takes as a reason for obedience that it has a moral duty owed to the authority. Since a legitimate political authority with a right to rule is predicated on the fact that citizens have moral reasons grounded in the right to rule to obey it, the right to rule engages citizens at a deep moral level.
The exercise of political power is founded in a moral relationship between moral persons that recognizes and affirms the moral personality of each citizen. By contrast, a society in which it is merely the case that coercion is justified is one in which the subjects are permissibly treated as means to morally defensible purposes.
The subjects do not owe anything to the authority or have any duties to obey it. So, in the case of an authority as merely justified coercion, the subjects' reasons for obedience are merely their desires to avoid punishment. And that is the level at which the authority deals with them. Such a society does not engage the subjects as moral persons, it merely attempts to administer the activities of persons so as to bring about in a morally justified way a desirable outcome.
At the extreme, a prisoner of war camp or even a hostile but justified military occupation gives the authorities justification for coercion. The people who are subjected to that treatment often have no duties to obey and they do not regard each other or the authorities as members of a unified political community. They are merely fellow human beings. To the extent that a political society is best when it involves the mutual recognition and affirmation of the moral status of each person, the kind of society that involves merely justified coercion of some by others is a pale shadow.
And the intermediate form of political authority is incomplete in the respect in which the exercise of political power involves the mutual recognition and affirmation of the status of each person. It is the case that subjects have duties but those duties are not essentially connected to anything in the authority. The subjects instead act more in accordance with reasons that are independent of the authority when they obey the authority. So to the extent that a society ruled by an authority that has the right to rule is an ideal of a moral community, the other types of authority are lesser forms of a morally ideal political community.
This implies a very distinct dimension of political authority. When a political authority issues a command and the subject has a duty to obey, what is the nature of this duty? One might have a duty to obey a command merely because it commands the subject to do something that is just and any alternative action would be unjust.
Here the duty to obey would depend on the content of the command. Commands that are unjust or perhaps even commands that require actions that are not exclusively just may not involve duties at all. The commands of a legitimate political authority are usually thought to involve something more than this. The duty of the subject is grounded not in the content of the command itself but in the nature of the source issuing the command.
The duty to obey is then automatically generated when the command is issued by the appropriate authority and when it has the right form and provenance. In this respect, the duty to obey is content independent or independent of the content of the particular command.
One must obey because one has been commanded and not because of the particular content of the command. One must do it because one has been told to do it. This kind of duty seems to be the most central kind of duty involved in the duty to obey. It is the idea that one must obey the authority because it is the authority. It does not imply of itself that one owes the duty of obedience to the authority so it does not imply that there is a right to rule on the part of the authority.
Here we must distinguish a duty that is owed to the authority and a duty that is merely the result of the authoritative command. The duty that is owed to the authority is grounded in the fact that the authority possesses a feature that gives it a right to command and that it is in virtue of that right that one owes obedience.
The idea is that there is something just in itself that the authority be obeyed. One other distinction that is worth making in this connection is the distinction between a preemptive duty to obey and a duty that is not preemptive.
A preemptive duty is one that replaces other duties. It puts other duties out of play when it comes into play. A preemptive duty is not weighed against other duties that might relate to what one is thinking of doing. Of course, a preemptive duty may not preempt all other considerations, its preemption may operate only with a limited scope and thus preempt only some limited set of considerations.
An example of a preemptive duty is the case of a promissory obligation. If I have agreed to do something for you and I suddenly see some pleasurable alternative to fulfilling my obligation, most people would think that I ought to exclude the consideration of pleasure altogether from my deliberations even though the pleasure would be a consideration had I made no promise.
It is simply not something that I can legitimately weigh in the balance against the promissory obligation. So if an authority issues a command and the duty to obey is a preemptive duty, then the subject does not weigh the other duties that might otherwise apply to him in the balance with the preemptive duty. The preemptive duty simply excludes the other duties. By contrast, if a duty is not preemptive, then when it comes time to comply with it, one must balance it with other duties that weigh for and against acting in accord with the duty.
Most think that the duties associated with authority are content independent in the sense that one must do what one is told even if one is skeptical about the merits of the command. There is some skepticism, however, about the claim that legitimate political authorities impose preemptive duties on subjects. These people have questioned the rationality of preemptive duties or reasons for action.
Surely, there are times when what appear to be preempted considerations all add up to a consideration that outweighs the preempting consideration. How can this be understood on the preemption model? Some have argued that authoritative commands simply give especially weighty content independent duties, which can be balanced against other duties Shapiro The discussion of instrumentalism will say a bit more about these criticisms below.
The most demanding notion of authority is the idea of a political authority that has a right to rule that correlates with a duty to obey that is owed to the authority and that is a content independent and preemptive duty. And this is certainly the most prominent and striking exercise of authority. But political authorities do not only create duties in others in and some cases do not purport to create such duties at all.
The most prominent instances of this can be found in international institutions. The Security Council of the United Nations exercises authority in a variety of ways: Its executive authority is its traditional role in international law.
But this executive authority is quite distinct from the kind of executive authority we see in the state. The Security Council exercises its executive authority primarily by authorizing actions and not by carrying them out by itself or by requiring them. One way to describe the moral power of the Security Council is that it gives a liberty to states to prosecute wars.
It does this against a background of a general prohibition of all war except in the case of self-defense. It suspends that prohibition for certain states. It does not require them to act, it only permits them to act in a warlike way. This is because the agent of enforcement in the international system is a decentralized one.
The dispute settlement system first determines whether a state has in fact violated its agreements on trade and tariffs with another state. And when it determines this, it permits the plaintiff state to act in a way that would normally be in violation of its agreements.
It permits retaliation through the system of tariffs and non-tariff barriers. It cannot require this retaliation. Hence the two most effective and authoritative institutions in the international system do not impose duties at all in many cases, they exercise a moral power to alter the moral situation of states but the alteration is from duty to permission in many cases.
To be sure, they do this against the background of treaties and agreements that have a kind of legislative force and that do purport to impose genuine duties. And there are duties not to interfere with the authorized activity, but the point remains that the primary exercise is one of changing duties to permissions. This may confirm Applebaum's idea that authority need not impose duties.
Different accounts may be suitable to different kinds of authority. Indeed, different principles grounding authority may be suitable to different kinds of authority. One thing that is not often enough discussed in treatments of political authority is the fact that there are very different kinds of political authority. Within the state alone there is legislative authority, executive authority, judicial authority, and administrative authority; these different kinds of authority can have distinct sub-branches of authority.
And there are political authorities outside of the modern state, namely international institutions. These have a very distinct kind of authority at least in the contemporary world and the authority of these different agencies is grounded in different principles. As an illustration of different forms of authority for different political entities consider the different parts of the modern state.
We might think that a democratic legislative assembly has a genuine right to rule in the sense that citizens owe obedience to it. They might owe this obedience because the assembly pools all the democratic rights of all the citizens and so citizens treat each other as equals by complying with the assembly's directives. But citizens do not owe it to courts to respect their judgments about the law. The courts may create duties but the duties are not owed to them.
The same presumably goes for policemen and adminstrators as well. They seem to have moral powers to create duties but these duties are not owed to them. Furthermore, the grounds of authority might be distinct for these two kinds of entities. The democratic conception might provide the basis of the authority of the assembly while the authority of courts and administrators may be more instrumentally grounded.
Conceptions of the Legitimacy of Political Authority Few theorists after Thomas Hobbes and David Hume have argued that there is a general duty to obey the law or that political authority is generally legitimate Hobbes ; Hume Most theorists have argued that the legitimacy of political authority is one that holds only when the political authority satisfies certain normatively important conditions.
What we will review here are some of the main theories that attempt to explain when a political authority has legitimacy. General theories are theories that identify general properties that virtually any kind of political regime can have that gives them legitimacy.
Special theories are ones that mark off particular classes of regimes that have legitimacy or that have a particularly high level of legitimacy. There are really four types of general theory of political authority and then there are a variety of special theories of political authority.
The four types of general theory of legitimacy are consent theories, reasonable consensus theories, associative obligation theories and instrumentalist theories. The two historically important forms of special theory in the West have been the Divine Right of Kings theories and democratic theories. The Puzzle of Political Authority: Philosophical Anarchism At the root of all contemporary discussions of the legitimacy of authority is the problem posed by Robert Paul Wolff concerning the incompatibility of moral autonomy and political authority.
The problem is really only connected with the kinds of political authority that imply content independent duties to comply with authoritative commands.
The basic idea is that it is incompatible for a subject to comply with the commands of an authority merely because it is the command of the authority and for the subject to be acting morally autonomously. Wolff thinks that each person has a duty to act on the basis of his own moral assessment of right and wrong and has the duty to reflect on what is right and wrong in each particular instance of action.
Such a person would be violating his duty to act autonomously if he complies with authoritative commands on grounds that are independent of the content of the commands. So the duty of autonomy is incompatible with the duty of obeying political authority. This is the challenge of philosophical anarchism Wolff The worry is that authority is never legitimate because the kind of obedience associated with authority is inconsistent with the autonomy of the subject.
We can see, however, that this worry applies only to certain accounts of authority, which imply duties to obey on the part of the subjects. The account of authority as justified coercion is not affected by this argument nor is the account of legitimate authority consisting of a justification right affected by this worry.
Still, most accounts of the nature of authority do imply content independent duties on the part of the subjects. We can see that any content independent duty, whether it is a duty not to interfere with the authority's command or it is a duty to obey the authority, is called into question by this argument.
Let us start with the instrumentalist account of legitimacy. The canonical statement of this notion of legitimate authority is provided by Joseph Raz. He calls it the Normal Justification Thesis. According to Raz, what should guide government decisions about what commands to give subjects is what the subjects already have reason to do.
For instance, subjects already have reason to give a fair share of resources for the common good. Authorities merely help them comply with these reasons by establishing an efficient and fair system of taxation.
Subjects have reason to defend their fellow countrymen and authorities help them do this by establishing an army in an efficient and fair way.
Authorities do these things by issuing commands to subjects that are meant to replace the reasons that already apply to the subjects. Instead of the subject trying to figure out exactly how much he owes and who to give it to by coordinating it with many other people, the authority simply takes over these tasks, determines what the subject has reason to do and expects the subject to take its authoritative command as a reason instead of the reasons that directly apply to the action. An authority does its job well and is therefore legitimate when it enables subjects to act better on the reasons that apply to them when they take the commands as giving them preemptive reasons.
An instrumentalist attempts to meet Wolff's challenge by saying that an authority is legitimate when one complies better with one's duty overall by submission to authority than by trying to act on the basis of one's own assessments of what is right and wrong in each instance.
This amounts to a rejection of the duty of autonomy that is central to the anarchist idea. Or at least it is a rejection of the idea that the duty of autonomy is the most fundamental duty. But it does get at something important.
The Purpose of Authority Control
Wolff's challenge states in a rather general way the worry that there is something immoral about failing to critically reflect about what one ought to do in each instance of action. And he states that submitting to the commands of the state is precisely a case of failing to act on one's critical assessment of a situation. The instrumentalist suggests a way in which it is not immoral to fail to critically reflect on one's prospective actions in each instance.
Indeed, the instrumentalist can argue that it is sometimes immoral to insist on critically reflecting and acting autonomously when one may actually act worse as a result of consistently critically reflecting. We frequently act on the basis of rules of action, without considering all the details of the circumstances in which we act on the grounds that trying to take all the details of each situation into account for each action would produce bad decisions.
The instrumentalist argues that we ought to take this kind of attitude to the commands of the state when we will better act in accordance with our duty overall by doing so than by attempting to make independent assessments of the worth of our actions in every case see Razch. This response to the philosophical anarchist challenge establishes only a piecemeal duty to obey the state.
The instrumentalist argues that some states some of the time issue commands that we or at least some individuals ought to submit to without critical reflection on each command.
It does not imply that the duty to obey the state extends to all commands of the state and to all subjects. It only applies when the subject would likely better comply with duties overall by treating the commands as authoritative i. Whether the commands impose duties or not depends on features of the subject such as his or her knowledge of the issues related to the commands and so forth.
Of course, it is important to note that not every act of obedience will ensure better compliance with reason, there will be cases when the commands of the state do not accord with the best reasons. Raz's conception of authority depends for its cogency on the thought that as long as the subject does better by reason overall by obeying certain classes of commands, the subject has a duty to obey every one of the commands: In some sense, the obedience to the commands has a greater likelihood of ensuring conformity with reason.
Finally, this particular account of the duty to obey does not assert that the discharging of the duties is owed to the state. This account does not establish any fundamental right to rule on the part of the state. Many have argued that this conception of practical reasoning is flawed.
They have worried that the indirect form of practical reasoning that it requires is not legitimate. The worry can be stated fairly easily.
The form of practical reasoning this account of authority includes requires that we ignore the reasons that apply directly to the action we are about to undertake even though sometimes those reasons will count against the action. The question arises, when are the reasons that directly apply to the action so strongly opposed to the action that we must override the preemptive reason?
In the case of rule following, we sometimes encounter particular instances in which following the rule is counterproductive. How do we determine when we ought to follow the rule and when we ought not to follow the rule? Does such determination involve the very deliberation about particular instances that was meant to be excluded by the rule? Some have argued that rule following cannot be rational since it cannot be rational to ignore the particular facts of each case Hurd Raz's main response to this criticism has been to say that we look for clear cases in which the rule is to be overridden and ignore the other cases and that only by doing this do we best comply with reason.
Limiting exceptions to the rule to clear cases obviates the need for deliberation in every case. A Second Form of Philosophical Anarchism Another version of the philosophical anarchist challenge may seem to avoid the critical edge of the above approach. This approach, defended by A. John Simmons Simmons and Leslie Green Green asserts that each person has a right not to be bound by the state's commands. This thesis is quite different from the kind of anarchism defended by Wolff.
The latter asserts that each individual has a duty to be autonomous. The present theory asserts merely that a person has a right not be subjected to another's imposition of duties. The philosophical anarchist then argues that only if a person consents to being bound to the political authority can the person actually be bound.
MARC Authority to RDA Mapping
The final premise in the philosophical anarchist argument is that it is either practically impossible or at least actually untrue that states can be set up in such a way that they can demand the obedience of all and only those who have consented to their authority.
So, the anarchist concludes, no state is legitimate and perhaps no state can ever be legitimate. It is important to note that this view does not imply that one must never obey the state. It merely implies that one does not have content independent duties to obey the state and that the state does not have a right to rule. A reasonably just state will command one to do things that are reasonably just and in many cases one must obey those commands because they are just.
What one is not required to do on the philosophical anarchist view is obey any state just because it has commanded one to do certain things. To discuss this view, we will first discuss the arguments people have given for the consent theory of political authority. We will also discuss some counterarguments. Then we will discuss a popular modification of the consent theory that is designed to avoid philosophical anarchism. The Natural Right to Freedom Argument The consent theory of political authority states only a necessary condition of the legitimacy of political authority.
It states that a political authority is legitimate only if it has the consent of those who are subject to its commands. Many have argued that in addition to consent, a state must be minimally just for it to be legitimate Locke A number of arguments have been presented in favor of this view.
Locke's argument is that each person has an equal natural right to freedom and that this implies that at the age of maturity no one may be subordinated to anyone else's commands by nature Locke Let us call this the natural right argument.
Such subordination would violate the equal freedom of the subordinated person. To the extent that political authority involves issuing commands and requiring others to follow the commands, it seems to involve subordinating one person to the commands of another and thus violates the natural right to freedom of the subordinated person.
Locke himself argued that the state of nature would be quite threatening to each person's ability to live freely because there are likely to be many disagreements about what rights each person has and so people are likely to trespass on each other's rights. Furthermore he argued that when there is such disagreement, we need an impartial judge to determine when rights have been violated.
And against criminals we need a police power to enforce the rights that people have. Locke argues that only by establishing political society with a legislature that makes known and settled laws and establishing a judiciary that resolves remaining controversies between people and having an executive power that enforces the laws can people's rights and freedoms be protected.
Once we have the above argument in mind, it is hard to see the force of the natural right argument for no political authority without consent.
We might think that the very liberty that is being invoked to support the case for the necessity of consent is better protected by a reasonably just political authority. The instrumentalist can then argue that one protects the liberty of each and every person better by instituting political authority and by treating its commands as authoritative.
And so the instrumentalist could argue that insofar as liberty is a fundamental value, it would be immoral not to support a reasonably just political authority and treat its commands as authoritative. The natural right theorist might argue in response that the above argument seems to involve a kind of utilitarianism of rights.
Such a view says that it is justified to violate one person's right in order to protect the rights of others. But, such a theorist might say, the natural rights of persons are side constraints against actions; they are not to be violated even if others' rights are better protected as a consequence.
This entry will not go into the many issues that arise in the discussion of deontology and consequentialism here. We will return to the issue of side constraints after the discussion of the next argument. The Options Argument Some have proposed what this entry will call the options argument against the kind of considerations the instrumentalist adduces.
The instrumentalist argues that I have natural duties of justice to promote just institutions and that these duties are best satisfied by complying with the authority of a reasonably just state. But the philosophical anarchist could argue that though I may have a duty of justice, it does not entail that I must obey any particular institution for promoting justice. The idea here is that just as Amnesty International may not require me to pay dues to it regardless of my membership even though these dues would clearly advance the protection of human rights throughout the world, so the state may not require me to comply with its commands even though such compliance would advance the purposes of justice in the world.
Let us suppose that the reasons clearly favor my support of Amnesty International. Intuitively, it still may not require me to lend it support. Only if I have voluntarily joined and voluntarily remain in Amnesty do I have a duty to do what the conditions of membership require. And I am under no obligation to join Amnesty; I may join other organizations to fulfill whatever duties of aid that I have.
So whether I ought to join Amnesty and be subject to membership dues is up to me. The consent theorist seems to think that, in the same way, only if I voluntarily transact to obligate myself to comply with the state's commands can I be said to have a duty to comply with the state. I must somehow enlist myself in the project of promoting the good causes that the state promotes Simmons The instrumentalist account is premised on the view that not only does the state help one discharge one's duties of justice; it asserts that compliance with the state is necessary to the discharge of one's duties.
Hence, one acts unjustly if one fails to comply with the state's commands. To understand this, we need to introduce another concept. The idea is that the state does not only promote justice, it establishes justice. What does this mean? It means that for a particular community, the state determines what justice requires in the relations between individuals.
It does this by defining the relations of property and exchange as well as the institutions of the criminal law and tort law. To say that the state's legislative activity establishes justice is not the same as saying that the state's activity constitutes justice. Justice is still an independent standard of assessment on this account.
The reason for saying that the state establishes justice is that, in Joseph Raz's words, justice and morality more generally, underdetermine the legislation necessary to bring about justice in a community.
This means that one can implement the same principles of justice by means of many different sets of rules. But one can treat others justly only if one is on the same page as the others. So what is just in a particular circumstance will depend in part on the set of rules that the others are acting on.
To the extent that the state determines the basic framework of rules, it determines which actions are just and which are not. One does not act justly, on this account, by deciding not to comply with the state one lives in and sending money to another state or association.
If one fails to comply with the rules of property or the rules of exchange, one treats others unjustly. The options argument suggests that somehow there is a way that one can discharge one's duty to others by doing something other than obeying the law. Instead of obeying the law of property of the society in which I live, I may simply decide to send money to another part of the world where property rights are enforced.
But this argument fails to appreciate the central importance of law to defining justice among persons. Though not all laws are just, justice among persons in any even moderately complex society requires law and obedience to law. The Argument from Personal Reasons One argument for consent theory essayed by Simmons asserts that a person ought to be free to act on the basis of personal reasons as opposed to impersonal reasons.
So even if the state does help each person act more on the basis of impersonal reasons that apply to them independent of the state, a person may refuse, on the basis of personal reasons, to accept the directives of the state. And so, it is argued, the state's imposition of duties on the individual may occur only if the individual has consented to the state's authority Simmons The idea that one can have personal reasons not to obey the commands of a reasonably just state is unclear.
It might be referring to the idea that each person has a kind of personal prerogative that permits him to avoid the demands of morality generally.
This idea was proposed by critics of utilitarianism as a way to avoid the excessive demandingness of utilitarianism while keeping most of the view intact. Utilitarianism supplies exclusively impersonal reasons for action to individuals. These seem to undermine the personal projects and interests of individuals. Some have proposed that utilitarianism be modified to accommodate the projects of individuals by including a personal prerogative to act on the basis of personal reasons.
Others have argued that there ought to be a personal prerogative to ignore the impersonal reasons of any set of moral requirements. But this role for personal reasons does not seem to provide much in the way of defense of the consent theory.
One reason for this is that these are reasons to avoid some of the demands of morality. But the issue at stake in the justification of authority is whether morality demands obedience or not. If we think of these personal reasons as part of the structure of morality, on the other hand, then it would seem that these personal reasons are best protected by a reasonably just state that protects individual freedom.
So the response to the claim that individuals have personal reasons to evade the commands of the state seems to fall prey to the same argument that undermines the natural right approach. The Argument from Disagreement There is another way to think of this personal reasons criticism of instrumentalist approaches to political authority.