Skip to content
Main menu hidden.

The Burman Lectures 2023. Lecture 1: Contrastive Consent and Third-Party Coercion

Time Monday 15 May, 2023 at 13:15 - 15:00
Place Hörsal HUM.D.210 (Hörsal E)

The Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies invites you to the annual Burman lectures in philosophy. This years invited lecturer is Professor David Enoch, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He will give three open lectures over three days on thte theme of "Autonomy: Coercion, Nudging and the Epistemic Analogy". 

Professor David Enoch (Ph.D NYU) holds the Rodney Blackman Chair in the Philosophy of Law at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He will later this year take up a position as Chair of Legal Philosophy at Oxford University. Professor Enoch is a prominent researcher primarily in moral philosophy, legal philosophy, and political philosophy. A central theme in Enoch's research has been to develop a defence of what he calls robust moral realism: i.e. that morality includes objective, universal moral truths that cannot be reduced to other kinds of facts. In political philosophy, he has tried to show that liberalism can accommodate insights derived from other political traditions of thought.

Learn more about Prof. David Enoch

Lecture 1: Contrastive Consent and Third-Party Coercion

Monday May 15, 13.15-15.00, Hörsal HUM.D.210 (Hörsal E)

Abstract: If Badguy threatens Goodguy with harm, and Goodguy consents to giving his money to Badguy (to avoid the harm), Goodguy’s consent is invalid because coerced. But if under Badguy’s coercive threat Goodguy proceeds to consent to paying someone else (or to hiring a bodyguard), the consent may very well be valid. The challenge is to explain this difference. In this paper I argue that the way forward is to recognize that the content of consent is contrastive – one doesn’t just agree to giving the money; rather, one consents to giving-the-money-rather-than-some-alternative. And then the normative upshot of the relevant consent depends on what the morally relevant contrast is, which in turn depends on who is (before the relevant interaction) entitled to what against whom. We have, I think, independent reasons to understand consent contrastively, and once we do, we can solve the puzzle of third-party coercion with ease.

All interested are welcome to these lectures!

Learn more about the Burman Lectures

Learn more about Professor David Enoch

Event type: Lecture
Pär Sundström
Read about Pär Sundström