Revisiting the Right to Do Wrong

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):43-57 (2017)
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Rights to do wrong are not necessary even within the framework of interest-based rights aimed at preserving autonomy. Agents can make morally significant choices and develop their moral character without a right to do wrong, so long as we allow that there can be moral variation within the set of actions that an agent is permitted to perform. Agents can also engage in non-trivial self-constitution in choosing between morally indifferent options, so long as there is adequate non-moral variation among the alternatives. The stubborn intuition that individuals have a right to do wrong in some cases can be explained as stemming from a cautionary principle motivated by the asymmetry between the risk of wrongly interfering and that of refraining from interfering.



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Renee Jorgensen
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Citations of this work

From rights to prerogatives.Daniel Muñoz - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3):608-623.
Privacy and the Importance of ‘Getting Away With It’.Cressida Gaukroger - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (4):416-439.
What is morality?Kieran Setiya - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1113-1133.
Letting others do wrong.Tyler Doggett - 2022 - Noûs 56 (1):40-56.
The claim-right to exclude and the right to do wrong.Sahar Akhtar - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.

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The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Ethics 98 (4):850-852.

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