Public Policy

Paternalism: Theory and Practice - download pdf or read online

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By Michael Weber, Christian Coons

Is it allowable in your executive, or a person else, to persuade or coerce you 'for your individual sake'? this can be a query approximately paternalism, or interference with a person's liberty or autonomy with the goal of selling their reliable or heading off damage, which has created massive controversy not less than considering the fact that John Stuart Mill's On Liberty. Mill famously decried paternalism of any sort, no matter if performed by means of deepest participants or the kingdom. during this quantity of recent essays, best ethical, political and felony philosophers handle how to find paternalism, its justification, and the results for public coverage, specialist ethics and legal legislations. So-called 'libertarian' or non-coercive paternalism gets substantial recognition. The dialogue addresses the character of freedom and autonomy and the relation of people to legislation, coverage and the kingdom. the amount will curiosity quite a lot of readers in political philosophy, public coverage and the philosophy of legislation.

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This latter disjunct is crucial in the context of paternalism. Nearly all paternalistic laws seem intended not to prevent conduct that causes harm on each and every occasion in which it is performed, but rather to prevent conduct that creates the risk of harm. Thus it is crucial to examine the special principles that apply to laws designed to prevent risk. Before turning to these principles, however, it is important to ensure that a harm constraint is not vacuous – contrary to what some critics have alleged.

This concession follows from the argument I provide in favor of the harm constraint. Mill and Feinberg presented several objections to paternalism – most of them bad or at least inconclusive. 9 I hope it is not unkind to these great thinkers to answer that no positive arguments can be found. I try to fill this lacuna by offering the following novel argument for a harm constraint: All crimes allow for defenses. Among the defenses for which they allow are justifications.

Definitions Given the number of these dimensions, and the possibility of combining the dimensions in various ways, there are obviously a large number of definitions that are possible. Obviously not all possibilities have been seriously put forward for acceptance. But the variety is larger than might be thought and I will set out a number of proposed definitions to give the reader an idea of what such a variety might look like. 4 Thus, if an employer automatically enrolls an employee in the company’s 401k plan (with the option to withdraw at any time) this counts for them as paternalistic.

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Paternalism: Theory and Practice by Michael Weber, Christian Coons


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