Euthyphro, the Legal Realists, and the Dilemma of Authority

Jerome Neu

in On Loving Our Enemies

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199862986
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949762 | DOI:
Euthyphro, the Legal Realists, and the Dilemma of Authority

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This chapter focuses on a somewhat neglected aspect of Plato's Euthyphro, called the dilemma of authority. It is a problem that arises whenever someone wishes to rely on authority, that is, defer to the judgment of another, when it comes to moral issues. Plato's Euthyphro, in the course of a discussion of the nature of piety, raises a number of problems about relying on authority in moral decision-making, problems both of knowledge and of justification. The chapter explores several of these problems and argues that at least one, the dilemma of authority, is of quite general application and importance.

Keywords: Plato; Euthyphro; authority; decision-making

Chapter.  3824 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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