Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 07 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Claims of voluntariness and the converse notion of force are invoked as the bases for conclusions about people’s rights and responsibilities in a wide range of contexts. Yet the notion of voluntariness has received less direct attention than have the related notions of freedom, coercion, autonomy, and self-ownership. The aim of this chapter is to bring to light and assess the distinctive role and normative significance of voluntariness for our judgments about people’s rights and obligations. In particular, the chapter addresses two main questions about the relevance of voluntariness. The first is whether voluntariness itself, or only the absence of coercion, has normative significance. The second is whether the notion of self-ownership must be defined through voluntariness, and what implications this has for the theses that political philosophers make by appealing to the importance of self-ownership.

Keywords: voluntariness, coercion, self-ownership, force, freedom, responsibility, autonomy

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.