An Approach to the Problem of AuthorityMagda Egoumenides*
Special Scientist, Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Cyprus, Cyprus
- *Corresponding Author:
- Magda Egoumenides Special Scientist
Department of Social and Political Sciences
University of Cyprus, Cyprus
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: December 13, 2016; Accepted Date: February 11, 2017; Published Date: February 21, 2017
Citation: Egoumenides M (2017) An Approach to the Problem of Authority. J Bus Fin Aff 6: 243. doi: 10.4172/2167-0234.1000243
Copyright: © 2017 Egoumenides M. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
This paper examines the central problem of authority as illustrated through the lenses of philosophical anarchism. The justification of authority constitutes the paramount problem of political philosophy. The philosophical debate on political obligation, initiated by defenders of the state and anarchists, concerns the justification of a special bond between citizens and political institutions and lies at the centre of the discussion on authority. Philosophical anarchism’s criticism of political obligation creates great difficulties to state justification. Yet, this anarchist strand has been dismissed as a merely negative critique of political authority, with no alternative positive proposal of its own. In disagreement with this view, this paper aims at improving our idea of authority by revealing the value of the anarchist approach. For this I focus on the position of critical philosophical anarchism and on three theorists each of whom relates in a significant way to this position. I discuss Rousseau as a traditional theorist whose view is a basic inspiration for the anarchist approach to political institutions. Joseph Raz’s theory is analyzed as a view largely compatible with critical philosophical anarchism’s perspective on state authority. Finally, I discuss Simmons as a representative critical philosophical anarchist, from whose approach, however, I depart in my defense of critical philosophical anarchism. My conclusion is that critical philosophical anarchism sheds a new light on the important insights on authority offered by the above theorists and helps us adopt a new perspective on political institutions. In contrast with political anarchism, it does not propose to overthrow the state. Yet it justifies the former by establishing an everlasting criticism of authority. The absence of political obligation reaffirms the responsibility of citizenship. This entails a responsibility on our part, whether anarchists or not, to participate in evaluating continually authority’s decisions and practices, toward a better political world.