Res Publica

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 513–522 | Cite as

Rational Persuasion, Paternalism, and Respect

Article

Abstract

In ‘Rational Persuasion as Paternalism', George Tsai argues that providing another person with reasons or evidence (even good reasons or evidence) can be a morally objectionable form of paternalism. I believe Tsai’s thesis is importantly correct, denying the widely accepted identification of rational persuasion with respectful treatment. In this comment, I disagree about what is centrally wrong with objectionable rational persuasion. Contrary to Tsai, objectionable rational persuasion is not wrong because it undermines the value of an agent’s life. It is wrong because it is contrary to an agent’s will.

Keywords

Paternalism Respect Autonomy Wrongdoing George Tsai 

Notes

Acknowledgements

For helpful comments and discussion, I would like to thank Olivia Bailey, Eric Beerbohm, Christine Korsgaard, Kelly Patterson, T. M. Scanlon, an anonymous referee, and audiences at Brigham Young University and the Graduate Moral Philosophy Workshop at Harvard University.

References

  1. Aarchard, David. 2014. Insults, free speech, and offensiveness. Journal of Applied Philosophy 31(2): 127–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gigone, Daniel, and Reid Hastie. 1993. The common knowledge effect: Information sharing and group judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 65(5): 959–974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kelly, Thomas. 2013. Evidence Can Be Permissive. In Contemporary debates in epistemology, ed. Matthias Steup, John Turri, and Ernest Sosa, 298–311. Malden: Blackwell Press.Google Scholar
  4. Lu, Li, Y. Connie Yuan, and Poppy Lauretta McLeod. 2012. Twenty-five years of hidden profiles in group decision making: A meta-analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Review 16(1): 54–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Neu, Jerome. 2008. Sticks and stones: The philosophy of insults. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Schoenfield, Miriam. 2014. Permission to believe: Why permissivism is true and what it tells us about irrelevant influences on belief. Nous 48(2): 193–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Shiffrin, Seana. 2000. Paternalism, unconscionability doctrine, and accommodation. Philosophy & Public Affairs 29(3): 205–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Tsai, George. 2014. Rational Persuasion as Paternalism. Philosophy & Public Affairs 42(1): 78–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

Personalised recommendations