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  • Cited by 9
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Steckmann, Ulrich 2014. Paternalismus und Soziale Arbeit. Soziale Passagen, Vol. 6, Issue. 2, p. 191.

    Barnett, Michael 2014. The humanitarian act:howhumanitarian?. International Social Science Journal, Vol. 65, Issue. 215-216, p. 13.

    Bullock, Emma C. 2015. A Normatively Neutral Definition of Paternalism. The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 65, Issue. 258, p. 1.

    Nagatsu, Michiru 2015. Social Nudges: Their Mechanisms and Justification. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, Vol. 6, Issue. 3, p. 481.

    Anker, Thomas Boysen 2016. Analysis of the Paternalistic Justification of an Agenda Setting Public Health Policy: The Case of Tobacco Plain Packaging. Public Health Ethics, Vol. 9, Issue. 2, p. 208.

    Walker, Tom 2016. Paternalism and Populations. Public Health Ethics, Vol. 9, Issue. 1, p. 46.

    Begon, Jessica 2016. Paternalism. Analysis, Vol. 76, Issue. 3, p. 355.

    Wirth, Mathias and Schmiedebach, Heinz-Peter 2018. Sexualisierte Gewalt gegen Minderjährige im medizinischen Ambiente und das Problem von Paternalismus und Täuschung. Ethik in der Medizin,

    Eriksen, Andreas and Molander, Anders 2018. Welfare reform and public justification. Policy Studies, p. 1.

  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: February 2013

Chapter 1 - Defining paternalism


This chapter begins by canvassing a wide variety of definitions of paternalism which may have been developed in quite different contexts for quite different purposes. It is helpful both to see how wide the variety is and to see the various dimensions along which the definitions vary. A paternalistic act may be defined in terms of the outcomes it produces. The alternative view is that the reasons which count in determining whether an act is paternalistic are the hypothetical reasons which could motivate or justify the act. The first thing to note is that the entire discussion of paternalism takes place in the larger context of a discussion of the Unconscionability Doctrine (UD) in contract law. There is a normative dispute about the use of the doctrine. Liberals tend to favor it as a way of enabling poor people who are taken advantage of to get out of contractual obligations.
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