- Autonomy under threat: a revised Frankfurtian account
- Philosophical Explorations
- Volume | Issue number
- 12 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
In the early 1970s Harry Frankfurt argued that so-called ‘coercive threats’ cause a violation of their victim's autonomy, thereby excluding him from moral responsibility. A person is therefore not responsible for doing what he is forced to do. Although this seems correct on an intuitive level, I will use Frankfurt's later vocabulary of ‘care’ and ‘love’ in order to show that threats essentially involve an abuse of a person's autonomy instead of an infringement or violation thereof. Still, if we want to understand the sense of reluctance that is involved in acting under threat, as well as the sense of responsibility that befalls both the victim as well as the perpetrator, then we have to move beyond the Frankfurtian framework.
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