Authors
Marie Oldfield
University of Glasgow
Abstract
What is coercion and why do we care? Coercion is widespread and used especially when raising children, but on its darker side coercion can have devastating consequences. We are worried about coercion as it can invalidate consent. This is seen in the USA where campus rape cases have soared in recent years and brought consent and coercion back to the forefront of debate. Coercion is a hotly debated legal, political and ethical concept. However, in all this debate we have seen little in the way of what coercion means exactly and how we determine it is taking place. Wertheimer and Garnett have interesting views about how coercion can be understood, from the morally wrong side of coercion to the situations where people are left much worse off because of its use. Only the morally wrong situations are subject to the law but there is a whole set of coercive situations that could take place which look bad to the outsider but are not necessarily morally wrong. This is the area of coercion I wish to discuss further. Wertheimer states that there are two types of coercion, moralised and non moralised. Moralised coercion concerns whether it was ‘wrongful’ to propose the offer and the non-moralised notion examines whether the coerced had any other reasonable choice. In a similar vein to Wertheimer, Garnett believes that coercion has two roles, Deontic (wrong) and Eudaimonic (bad). This would vaguely map to Deontic as Moralised and Eudaimonic as Non Moralised. Garnett discusses the eudaimonic version at length believing it is relatively unexplored in situations of coercion. This paper consists of 4 sections: • Section 1 discusses what Coercion is • Section 2 reviews Wertheimer’s view of Moralised and Non Moralised Consent • Section 3 discusses Garnett’s View • Section 4 considers a cost-benefit analysis of eudaimonically wrong situations. In conclusion it is apparent that, in order to have a full picture of what kind of situations coercion actually covers we must not simply rely on the deontic concept. The Deontic way of looking at situations will tell us what is morally wrongful and possibly redressable in court but many situations simply sit badly with us. It is here, in this arena, that the eudaimonic concept comes into its own.
Keywords Garnett  Coercion  Politics  power  state
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