Failures of Consent: Coercive Force

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 Consent: Coercive Force

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Acts of consent, like acts generally, are involuntary when the actor is forced to do what he does, whatever his own preferences in the matter. In this chapter, Feinberg discusses cases in which an actor expressly gives his consent, but the consent lacks moral or legal effect because it was forced rather than free (thus, rendering it invalid). The line between forcing to act and merely getting to act is drawn somewhere in the manipulation or persuasion part of the scale, possibly moving within a narrow range as our purposes shift. Feinberg also examines the effect of second‐party coercion, differential and other coercive pressure, and moralistic theories of coercion on consent.

Keywords: coercion; consent; involuntary

Chapter.  19177 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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