Failures of Voluntariness: The Single‐Party Case

Joel Feinberg

in The Moral Limits of the Criminal Law Volume 3: Harm to Self

Published in print August 1989 | ISBN: 9780195059236
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199869473 | DOI:
Failures of Voluntariness: The Single‐Party Case

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Should the law permit autonomous persons to act on their own in ways that are harmful or unreasonably dangerous to themselves but not directly threatening to other persons? The most plausible liberal answer is boldly in the affirmative. Entirely self‐regarding and voluntary behavior is none of the criminal law's business. However, there are times when harmful or unreasonable risky behavior is a good deal less than voluntary, and the soft paternalist would justify interference with it. The concern of this chapter is the problem of determining voluntariness in single‐party cases.

Keywords: harm; single‐party; voluntariness

Chapter.  13555 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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