Date of Award

5-3-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Andrew Altman - Chair

Second Advisor

Peter Lindsay

Third Advisor

Timothy Renick

Abstract

This thesis focuses on the issue of whether or not the government is ever justified in prohibiting the actions of an individual who is harming herself but not others. I first analyze some of the key historical figures in the paternalism debate and argue that these accounts fail to adequately meet the needs of a modern, pluralistic society. Then, I analyze and critique the nuanced, soft-paternalist strategy put forth by Joel Feinberg. Finally, I defend a version of hard paternalism, arguing that a balancing strategy that examines each action on a case-by-case basis shows all citizens equal, and adequate concern and respect.

Included in

Philosophy Commons

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