Authority (from the Latin auctoritas) is a right conferred by recognized social position. Authority often refers to power vested in an individual or organization by the state. Authority can also refer to recognized expertise in an area of academic knowledge. An Authority (capitalized) refers to a governing body upon which certain authority (with lower case a) is vested.
Famous quotes containing the word authority:
“Anyone who seeks for the true causes of miracles, and strives to understand natural phenomena as an intelligent being, and not to gaze at them like a fool, is set down and denounced as an impious heretic by those, whom the masses adore as the interpreters of nature and the gods. Such persons know that, with the removal of ignorance, the wonder which forms their only available means for proving and preserving their authority would vanish also.”
“The churches ... have lost much of their authority over youth because they have refused to re-examine their religious sanctions and their dogmatic preaching in the light of modern physiology, psychology and sociology.”
—Agnes E. Meyer (18871970)
“Authority and power are two different things: power is the force by means of which you can oblige others to obey you. Authority is the right to direct and command, to be listened to or obeyed by others. Authority requests power. Power without authority is tyranny.”
—Jacques Maritain (18821973)