The nature of consent

John Kleinig

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter

    65 Citations (Scopus)


    Although consent has always had a role in moral and social discourse, that role has greatly expanded since the Renaissance and in particular with the development of liberal democratic societies. In a post-Renaissance world, mature human relations (both individual and collective) are frequently assumed to be goverened by a conception of personal flourishing whose realization is furthered through the recognition of various constraints on interpersonal behaviour. Most critical have been those prohibiting people from acting toward each other in ways that are foreseeably detrimental to their interests - especially those that are central to the persuit of what they conceive to be good. Also, given the social nature of our development and the conditions for our continued flourishing, there are expectations that we contribute to the formation and maintenance of a social enviroment that will sustain our flourishing. Violations of such expectations are often characterized as violations of rights - a legally based discourse that identifies considerations worthy of coercive guarantees and whose breach is said to warrant an punitive response.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Ethics of Consent
    Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Practice
    EditorsFranklin G Miller, Alan Wertheimer
    Place of PublicationNew York, USA
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages22
    ISBN (Print)9780195335149
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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