Authority, Autonomy, and Second-Personal Reasons

Benjamin McMyler

in Testimony, Trust, and Authority

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199794331
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199914616 | DOI:
Authority, Autonomy, and Second-Personal Reasons

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One might object to the interpersonal account of testimony developed thus far by arguing that there are no genuinely second-personal reasons for belief, that the relations of authority and responsibility between persons appealed to by this account of testimonial belief in particular and trust-based belief more generally are simply the wrong kind of thing to play an irreducible role in epistemically justifying belief. Along these lines, one might accept that second-personal considerations can play a genuine role in practical rationality but deny that such relations play an analogous role in theoretical rationality. This chapter argues that there is just as much reason to think that second-personal considerations play an irreducible role in theoretical rationality as there is to think that they play an irreducible role in practical rationality. The rational significance of the second-person thus spans whatever divide there may be between theoretical and practical reason.

Keywords: the second person; second-personal reasons; theoretical rationality; practical rationality; evidence; authority; autonomy

Chapter.  15252 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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