In the novel, Finny is portrayed as a fun-loving, spontaneous adolescent, who is innocent and charismatic. With regards to authority, Gene mentions:
Phineas didn’t really dislike West Point in particular or authority in general, but just considered authority the necessary evil against which happiness was achieved by reaction, the backboard which returned all the insults he threw at it. (Knowles 6)
Essentially, Finny does not harbor negative feelings about authority and generally respects those in positions of power. However, he does not obey every minor rule or directive that he is given if he believes it is unnecessary or intervenes with his happiness. For example, Finny is continually late to dinner and does not hesitate to leave the campus in order to relax at the beach. In one of the more memorable scenes, Finny wears a pink shirt, which is against Devon's code of conduct, but manages to get away with it by charming the substitute Headmaster. In an attempt to define Finny's relationship with authority, Gene mentions:
The Devon faculty had never before experienced a student who combined a calm ignorance of the rules with a winning urge to be good . . . (Knowles 8)
Overall, it is safe to say that Finny generally respects authority but is willing to follow his own conscience and break rules that he finds unnecessary and/or irrelevant.