I owe a great debt to Professors Wall, Darwall, and Green for their willingness to challenge, develop, and question some of my publications, which forced me to confront a few of the shortcomings in my views and, I hope, to clarify and improve some of them. Given the diversity of the topics, I respond to each separately. I aimed to avoid minor points and to write only on matters which affect the cogency of my views or theirs on important issues.1 For that reason, as well as for reasons of space, not all the issues they raise are dealt with.
Green explains and criticizes one of the most basic aspects of my view: the way in which values provide reasons. They do so in two ways: we have reasons to engage with value, but we also have to respect value, meaning respect what has value for the value it has. He subjects my account of respect to close scrutiny, and my response will start there, before moving to examine Wall’s suggestion that considerations not unrelated to respect argue for the adoption of a moderate principle of political neutrality. Darwall’s critique of my account of authority appears to relate to one albeit central application of the foregoing theory of value and reason, but is in fact much more far reaching, challenging my view about the way values provide reasons, and my reaction to it will conclude this reply.
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On Respect, Authority & Neutrality: A Response,
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