II-what's wrong with paternalism: Autonomy, belief, and action

David Enoch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Several influential characterizations of paternalism or its distinctive wrongness emphasize a belief or judgement that it typically involves-namely, the judgement that the paternalized is likely to act irrationally, or some such. But it's not clear what about such a belief can be morally objectionable if it has the right epistemic credentials (if it is true, say, and is best supported by the evidence). In this paper, I elaborate on this point, placing it in the context of the relevant epistemological discussions. I explain how evidentialism is opposed to such thoughts; I show that possible ways of rejecting evidentialism (along lines analogous to those of pragmatic encroachment) won't work; and I sketch an account of the wrongness of paternalism that doesn't depend on any flaw in the belief about others' likely behaviour.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)21-48
Number of pages28
JournalProceedings of the Aristotelean Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Aristotelian Society.


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