Coercion and Consent

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Most moral justifications for coercion have been based on one of two arguments: the consent of the coerced, usually understood as univariate and discrete, or the beneficial consequences of coercion; but many cases do not fit these categories. This paper proposes that consent be understood as our inferences about the agreement of agents, which vary in fine degrees with multiple underlying factors, including agent discretion, the choice set, information, and competence. Moreover, consent interacts with other moral values, including consequences, in a pluralistic system of morals that depends on the context. Examples suggest this framework can be reconciled with moral intuitions better than rival systems.


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