Notes on Authority IV

  • Ownership of different kinds of things probably differs. A power differs specifically with respect to its object as sight differs from hearing as the object of the first is color and the second sound. However, the distinction between ownership and political authority differs with the ontological leap from non-rational to rational, that is political authority becomes a moral power.
  • The kind of obligations that are imposed on others with respect to ownership are in virtue of the nature of authority rather than an specific exercise of authority. One cannot licitly frustrate a competent authority in his exercise over its object whether it be a piece of property or children or citizens.
  • A tavern keep possess the authority to order his tavern in specific ways about how it is to be used, specifically by others. However, this is not an exercise of authority over others, but an invitation to use properly. To use the tavern wrongly is not a violation of the keep’s authority over the patron, but the patrons violation of the keeps authority over the tavern. The keep essentially determines how the keep may be used and only accidentally on how particular men use it.
  • Historically ownership was probably tied closely with political authority. A father as the first authority had authority as the efficient cause of the good of his children. However, his authority was maintained by his capacity to provide for the common good, which meant providing for people’s needs with property.
  • Been reading OT so, Abraham was no doubt a political leader. He was vastly wealthy and could maintain a people. His political authority over his slave, children, servants and so on drew largely upon his wealth.
  • Aristotle closely links this in the Politics. When he begins talking about “wealth-getting” he brings it into focus from a political perspective. The principle question is whether wealth-getting is a part of politics or something separate from politics. This is all address from the view of “managing a household,” rather than for example ruling a nation.
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