Do You Mind Violating My Will? Revisiting and Asserting Autonomy

In Georgi Gardiner & Micol Bez (eds.), The Philosophy of Sexual Violence. Routledge (forthcoming)
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Abstract

In this paper, I discuss a subset of preferences in which a person desires the fulfillment of a choice they have made, even if it involves the violation of their desires, as in rape fantasies. I argue that such cases provide us with a unique insight into personal autonomy from a proceduralist standpoint. In its first part, I analyze some examples in light of Frankfurt's endorsement theory and argue that even when we cannot endorse a practical decision that involves being violated, we nonetheless regard those cases as instances of autonomy. Therefore, autonomy does not necessarily require endorsement. Instead, I propose that the nature of the relevant highest-order volition dictates the procedure that should be established in one’s desire structure for its fulfillment. In the second part, I discuss how an agent may effectively consent to the violation of their decision by another person. Ordinary consent typically refers to actions but fails to communicate one's higher-order desires or commitments. To address this limitation, I propose a practical tool that accomplishes this by signaling shifts in the normative context where the agents are interacting.

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Eli Benjamin Israel
Temple University

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Creating the Kingdom of Ends.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
Freedom Within Reason.Susan R. Wolf - 1990 - New York: Oup Usa.
Free agency.Gary Watson - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (April):205-20.

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