The Problem of Paternal Motives

2013 Utilitas  
In this article I assess the ability of motivational accounts of paternalism to respond to a particular challenge: can its proponents adequately explain the source of the distinctive form of disrespect that animates this view? In particular I examine the recent argument put forward by Jonathan Quong that we can explain the presumptive wrong of paternalism by relying on a Rawlsian account of moral status. I challenge the plausibility of Quong's argument, claiming that although this approach can
more » ... this approach can provide a clear response to the explanatory challenge, it is only successful in doing so when it relies on the strength of its rival: the argument from personal autonomy. In doing so I illustrate that such responses are conceptually dependent on an account of respect for persons, and thus much of the relevant controversy is actually disagreement over how we respect other individuals.
doi:10.1017/s0953820813000046 fatcat:4ormm2grv5hzlor4sb3jfsb6hu