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The Moral Magic of Consent

  • Heidi M. Hurd (a1)
Abstract

We regularly wield powers that, upon close scrutiny, appear remarkably magical. By sheer exercise of will, we bring into existence things that have never existed before. With but a nod, we effect the disappearance of things that have long served as barriers to the actions of others. And, by mere resolve, we generate things that pose significant obstacles to others' exercise of liberty. What is the nature of these things that we create and destroy by our mere decision to do so? The answer: the rights and obligations of others. And by what seemingly magical means do we alter these rights and obligations? By making promises and issuing or revoking consent When we make promises, we generate obligations for ourselves, and when we give consent, we create rights for others. Since the rights and obligations that are affected by means of promising and consenting largely define the boundaries of permissible action, our exercise of these seemingly magical powers can significantly affect the lives and liberties of others.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

S.J. Schulhofer , The Feminist Challenge in Criminal Law, 143 U. Penn. L. Rev. 2151, 2181 (1995)

D.A. Dripps , Beyond Rape: An Essay on the Difference Between the Presence of Force and the Absence of Consent, 92 Colum L. Rev. 1780 (1992).

J.L. Austin , A Plea for Excuses, 57 Proc. Arist. Socy 1 (1956)

J. Murphy , Consent, Coercion, and Hard Choices, 67 Va. L. Rev. 79 (1981)

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Legal Theory
  • ISSN: 1352-3252
  • EISSN: 1469-8048
  • URL: /core/journals/legal-theory
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