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Defining Paternalism

Bishop-Bennett, SP; (2017) Defining Paternalism. Masters thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Much of the philosophical engagement with the issue of paternalism, especially in the last couple of decades, has focused on important normative issues such as: 'what, if anything, is morally problematic about paternalism?', 'when is paternalism justified?', and 'how concerned should we be, morally speaking, with paternalism?'. My thesis seeks to take a step back and asks a more fundamental, conceptual question, upon which these more practical, normative issues supervene: What precisely defines an act of paternalism? To this end, this thesis is divided into five parts; an introduction followed by four chapters. As well as setting out the aims of the thesis, the introduction outlines some of the basic, uncontroversial features of paternalism. Chapters 1, 2, and 3 then examine the rich philosophical literature on defining paternalism; each chapter examining a different approach to defining paternalism. Through the outlining of some of the uncontroversial features of paternalism, and subsequent investigation of where philosophers have gone wrong in defining paternalism, I develop seven 'Challenges' an accurate definition of paternalism must meet. I also argue that no definition of paternalism currently in the philosophical literature, can meet each of these Challenges (or even just meet Challenges 5, 6, and 7; three connected Challenges that are particularly important). Finally, in Chapter 4, I present an original definition of paternalism consisting of three individually necessary, and together sufficient conditions. I argue that this definition can in fact meet each of the seven 'Challenges'.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: Defining Paternalism
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > European and Intl Social and Political Studs
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1507770
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