Christian Coons and Michael Weber

in Manipulation

Published in print August 2014 | ISBN: 9780199338207
Published online August 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780190228446 | DOI:

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This chapter introduces and explores views about manipulation’s nature and moral status. It begins by discussing manipulation’s current importance, given its relevance to everyday interpersonal interactions and public policy debates, its relative scholarly neglect, and our rapidly expanding power to effectively manipulate. Next, it suggests that inquiry into the concept of manipulation—its essential characteristics—should guide inquiry into its moral status (e.g., whether, when, why it is morally problematic, and whether it is less problematic than coercion). It addresses two concerns about this approach, and then summarizes, examines, and sometimes challenges recent views about manipulation’s characteristics. No settled positions on manipulation’s moral status emerge in this preliminary discussion, but it offers some observations to inform future inquiry and challenges the assumption that coercion is generally worse than manipulation.

Keywords: manipulation; coercion; concept; autonomy; influence

Chapter.  6709 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Social and Political Philosophy

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