Paternalism and Consent

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


This chapter considers the relevance of consent to the justification of paternalism. As a general matter, A isn't acting paternalistically toward B if B consents to A's action. But what if B gives prior consent, as when a sober person tells a friend not to let him drive home if he is drunk? Contrary to the common view, it is argued that B's prior consent has no bearing on whether A is justified in interfering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Ethics of Consent
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Practice
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199866335
ISBN (Print)9780195335149
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


  • Justification of paternalism
  • Prior consent
  • Reasonableness
  • Self-exclusion programs


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