1. Raz distinguishes orders, requests and advice.  When we do things rationally, we do this by weighing some reasons.  For instance, when I decide to eat one thing, I may weigh its good taste against the fact that another thing is healthier, and in then end I decide which choice is overall the best one.  When someone makes a request of me, she intends to give me a reason to do that thing, a reason that I should weigh together with all the other reasons I am weighing.  On the other hand, if someone gives me advice, what she is giving me in the first instance is a reason for belief.  For instance, if a counselor tells me that I am temperamentally unsuited for going into business for myself, her knowledgeableness about these matters gives me a reason to believe that I am unsuited for going into business for myself.  And this belief in turn gives me a reason to avoid going into business.  If, on the other hand, my wife says: “Please don’t go into business!”, she is not giving me a reason for a belief, but she is giving me directly a reason for action.

2. By accepting someone as an authority, one accepts that she can issue certain kinds of legitimate orders.  According to Wolff, by doing this one is abdicating one’s autonomy, one’s ability to weigh all the reasons for action, since the order forbids one from weighing certain reasons.  And that’s unacceptable, according to Wolff, since one is then abdicating one’s rationality.

3. But all this presupposes we have criteria for legitimacy of orders.  And here we may need to fall back on earlier arguments.  For instance, if Aquinas is right, then orders are legitimate only when issued by someone who is in some way “charged” with the public good, and who is acting for the sake of it.  On one of the arguments in the Crito, laws are legitimate when they are analogous to parents.