Who has moral authority, and why not?

A diavlog with Daniel Schultz.

My Bloggingheads diavlog on moral authority with Daniel Schultz is now up. Naturally, in watching it, I’m struck by the point I failed to make: that prophetic leadership is always inconsistent with wielding state power. ├é┬áMachiavelli’s “armed prophet” is always an ex-prophet. To denounce Barack Obama because he isn’t Martin Luther King is simply to misconceive King’s role, and Obama’s.

[Andy Sabl has a superb book on this point.]

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

2 thoughts on “Who has moral authority, and why not?”

  1. I dunno about this definition of moral authority. It turns on how broadly you define interest. It may be that it’s in the person’s own interest to act morally. And a lot of evidently non-moral action isn’t (believed by anyone to be) in the person’s interest. (We often want something that’s we know isn’t good for us.) You can’t get away from offering some more explicit notion of what the sphere of moral reasons is.

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