- The Oxford Handbook of Practical Ethics
- Notes On The Contributors
- Reproductive Technology
- Environmental Ethics
- Gender and Sexual Discrimination
- Race and Racial Discrimination
- Affirmative Action
- People with Disabilities
- Freedom of Speech and Religion
- Legal Paternalism
- Economic Justice
- Intergenerational Justice
- Corporate Responsibility
- National Autonomy
- International Economic Justice
- World Hunger
- Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide
- Capital Punishment
Abstract and Keywords
This article's central interest is to examine the special philosophical difficulties that arise in attempts to think about paternalism in legal contexts. Most moral philosophers have focused on personal relationships in their efforts to understand both the nature and the justification of paternalism. That is, they have endeavoured to identify the conditions under which what they define as paternalism might be justified in situations in which one person (for example, a parent, a doctor, or a friend) interacts with another person (for example, a child, a patient, or a friend). The article is largely concerned with the problems that inhere in efforts to apply to the domain of law any theories about paternalism that might be derived from these personal contexts. It proposes tentative solutions to several of these problems.
Douglas N. Husak is Professor of Philosophy and Law at Rutgers University, where he teaches courses in philosophy of law, ethics, applied ethics, and criminal law. He is the author of approximately seventy articles and three books: Philosophy of Criminal Law (1987), Drugs and Rights (1992), and Legalize This! The Case for Descriminalizing Drugs (2002). His current interest is the theory of criminalization, especially its application to questionable uses of the criminal sanction such as the punishment of drug offenders.
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