Philosophy Research Archives 8:393-414 (1982)

A dozen philosophers have recently groped for a formula to pick out coercive offers: when P proposes to give a benefit or withhold a harm for Q’s compliance, when does p’s proposal count as coercive? Five formulae are analyzed here. One account is completely “moralized,” claiming that we can’t pick out coercive offers without first settling questions of rights. Two accounts are completely “non-moral,” using as criterion a baseline of “What would in fact have happened” if P had not wanted Q’s compliance. Finally, two accounts offer “two-baseline” accounts, asking “What should have happened?” and/or “What would have happened otherwise?” four accounts are found quite inadequate; the fifth account (my own earlier formula) is threatened by two odd counter cases. Finally, an alternative to “defining coercion” is sketched
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0164-0771
DOI 10.5840/pra198286
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