Everyone's got something they just can't give up: a challenge to Feinberg's adherence to the Volenti maxim Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Kling, Jennifer
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
  • In this paper, I challenge Joel Feinberg's in-principle unconditional adherence to the Volenti maxim, which states, roughly, that to he who consents, no wrong is done. Given the resources available in his theory of when a community can legitimately use the criminal law to prohibit actions, it seems that Feinberg need not hold that a person's consent always nullifies the wrong done to her. Through the lens of a particularly troubling case, I attempt to demonstrate that Feinberg can and should accept, given his prioritization of the doctrine of sovereign self-rule, that there are limits to consent's ability to nullify wrongdoing. I conclude by showing that accepting limitations on the Volenti maxim is not only consistent with Feinberg's theory, but actually enables his theory to consider a range of problematic cases in a fresh light.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Philosophy."
  • Postema, Gerald J.
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  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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