Justifying Paternalism

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (March):133-145 (1977)
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1. IntroductionA paternalistic act is one in which the protection or promotion of a subject's welfare is the primary reason for attempted or successful coercive interference with an action or state of that person. My aim in this paper is to determine the conditions under which such acts are Justified. The route I take is through the concept of consent, with actual consent providing the foundation for a rather complex condition which I claim is necessary and sufficient for the Justification of paternalism.Because a paternalistic act apparently violates a subject's right to non-interference, it constitutes a problem in the general area of rights. Ideally, then, one should have a developed and convincing theory of rights — that is, a theory which contains an analysis of the concept of a right, and offers solutions to the central problems, e.g. who has rights and why, what considerations override prima facie rights, and how the relative importance of prima facie rights is determined — from which the solutions to various problems about paternalism can be derived.



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Citations of this work

What Is So Wrong with Killing People?Robert Young - 1979 - Philosophy 54 (210):515-528.
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References found in this work

Paternalism.Gerald Dworkin - 1972 - The Monist 56 (1):64-84.

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