Failures of Consent: Coercive Offers

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 Offers

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Coercive offers rearrange a person's options in such a way as that he “has no choice” but to comply or else suffer an unacceptable consequence. They are offers because the proposer does not threaten any harm beyond what would happen anyway without his gratuitous intervention. Examining the related problems of noncoercive enticements, exploitation, unequal bargaining positions, and the applicability of coercion to criminal law problems, Feinberg maintains that a third party is justified in interfering forcibly with actions of X on Y's behalf if and only if those actions are harmful or dangerous to Y, and either Y has not consented to them or his consent was not sufficiently voluntary to be valid.

Keywords: coercion; consent; threats

Chapter.  18545 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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