Coercion, Threats, and the Puzzle of Blackmail

In A. P. Simester & A. T. H. Smith (eds.), Harm and Culpability. Oxford University Press. pp. 215-38 (1996)

Authors
Grant Lamond
Oxford University
Abstract
This paper discusses the puzzle of blackmail, i.e. the way in which the threat of an otherwise legally permissible action can in some cases constitute blackmail. It argues that the key to understanding blackmail is in terms of coercion and threats, and the effect such threats have on the validity of a victim’s consent. The nature of coercion and of coercive threats is considered in detail to support the thesis that threats are prima facie impermissible, though often justified all-things-considered. The puzzle of blackmail arises due to the fact that the law rarely has regard to an agent’s motives in acting, whereas this is the focus of the puzzling cases.
Keywords Blackmail  Coercion  Threats
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Autonomy, Rationality, and Contemporary Bioethics.Jonathan Pugh - 2020 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Coercion.Scott Anderson - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Enforcement Approach to Coercion.Scott A. Anderson - 2010 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 5 (1):1-31.
Why Coercion is Wrong When It’s Wrong.Benjamin Sachs - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):63 - 82.

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