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The Difference between Obedience Assumed and Obedience Accepted

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The analysis of legal statements that are made from an “internal point of view” must distinguish statements where legal obedience is accepted from statements where legal obedience is only assumed. Statements that are based on accepted obedience supply reasons for action, but statements where obedience is merely assumed can never provide reasons for action. It is argued in this paper that John Searle neglects this distinction. Searle claims that a statement from the internal point of view provides the speaker with reasons for actions that are “self-sufficient” in the sense that they are independent of the speaker's beliefs and desires. This claim is mistaken. A statement that is based on assumed obedience is self-sufficient, but does not give reasons for action. A statement that is based on accepted obedience gives reasons for action, but these reasons are not self-sufficient.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of LawLund UniversityP.O. Box 20722100 LundSweden, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2009-06-01

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