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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: February 2020

Chapter 8 - Epistemic Authority as both Individual and Collectively Shared


This chapter explores the political aspect of the legal metaphors. The main question is how epistemic authority can be both individual and shared. The key metaphors in this chapter are the political community and the distinction between valid laws and arbitrary decrees. To understand this relationship, Møller considers the way we can conceive of the thinking self as a critical authority. On the political nature of pure reason, Onora O’Neill has provided a groundbreaking analysis, which Møller discusses in detail. The thought-provoking accounts of the legal structure of reason by Susan Meld Shell and Friedrich Kaulbach are also considered. Building on this discussion, Møller shows that the lawful nature of reason is a presupposition of its political use in debates and an enlightened community.

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