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On What MattersVolume Two$
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Derek Parfit

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572816

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199572816.001.0001

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On Hiking the Range

On Hiking the Range

Chapter:
(p.143) 18 On Hiking the Range
Source:
On What Matters
Author(s):

Samuel Scheffler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199572816.003.0006

This chapter illustrates the notion of actual and possible consent based on Immanuel Kant's views. According to Kant's Consent Principle, we ought to treat people only in ways to which they could rationally consent. The chapter responds to Susan Wolf's suggestion that interpreting Kant in this way means abandoning the Kantian idea of respect for autonomy, which often requires us to treat people only in ways to which they actually consent. But the Consent Principle does not abandon this idea, since people could seldom rationally consent to being treated in some way without their actual consent. And when such treatment would be wrong, this principle would not require such acts. The chapter also examines Kant's Rule Consequentialism, Wolf's claim that it is wrong to harm people if we are treating them merely as a means, and her rejection of the idea that everyone could rationally choose certain non-optimific autonomy-protecting principles. Finally, it agrees with Wolf's argument that it would not be a tragedy if there is no single supreme moral principle, but asserts that it would be a tragedy if there is no single true morality.

Keywords:   consent, Immanuel Kant, Consent Principle, Susan Wolf, autonomy, Rule Consequentialism, harm, morality

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