- The Oxford Handbook of Freedom
- Self-Ownership as a Form of Ownership
- Positive Freedom and the General Will
- Moralized Conceptions of Liberty
- On the Conflict Between Liberty and Equality
- Freedom and Equality
- The Point of Self-Ownership
- Platonic Freedom
- Aristotelian Freedom
- Freedom in the Scholastic Tradition
- Freedom, Slavery, and Identity in Renaissance Florence: The Faces of Leon Battista Alberti
- Freedom and Enlightenment
- Adam Smith’s Libertarian Paternalism
- Market Failure, the Tragedy of the Commons, and Default Libertarianism in Contemporary Economics and Policy
- Planning, Freedom, and the Rule of Law
- Freedom, Regulation, and Public Policy
- Boundaries, Subjection to Laws, and Affected Interests
- Democracy and Freedom
- Can Constitutions Limit Government?
- Freedom and Religion
- Freedom and Influence in Formative Education
- Freedom and the (Posthumous) Harm Principle
- Exploitation and Freedom
- Voluntariness, Coercion, Self-ownership
- The Impartial Spectator and the Moral Teachings of Markets
- Disciplinary Specialization and Thinking for Yourself
- Free Will as a Psychological Accomplishment
- Prisoners of Misbelief: The Epistemic Conditions of Freedom
Abstract and Keywords
The Harm Principle maintains that the only legitimate reason for limiting a person’s freedom is to prevent that person from harming others. The Posthumous Harm Thesis maintains that it is possible for an act to harm a person even if the act takes place after the person is dead. If this is true, then acts that might otherwise appear to be harmless may in fact prove to harm someone, and acts that might otherwise appear to be consistent with the Harm Principle might turn out to violate it. One must therefore consider whether posthumous harm is possible. This chapter sets out a three-premise argument in defense of the Posthumous Harm Thesis, considers some of the objections that have been raised against them, and examines ways to overcome these objections. Its goal is to show that the argument for the Posthumous Harm Thesis is considerably more robust than is often thought.
David Boonin is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Values and Social Policy at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
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