Allyn Fives
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The debate on paternalism is important as it is illustrative of a wider controversy about the nature and role of political philosophy, in particular with respect to moral conflicts and how they are to be resolved. This chapter provides a brief outline of the prevailing, liberal view on paternalism and explains the various forms of paternalistic power. The prevailing, liberal view on paternalism does rely upon arguments from consent. A widely held assumption among liberals is that paternalism is a justified treatment of those who lack the qualities of an agent. An area of profound disagreement between liberals and pluralists concerns whether or not paternalism involves moral conflict. The chapter argues that paternalists must believe that the people over whom paternalistic power is exercised do generally believe that they generally know what is for their own good.

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Evaluating parental power

An exercise in pluralist political theory


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