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Self-Respect Paternalism

New publication from Søren Flinch Midtgaard in Utilitas published by Cambridge University Press



According to the influential disrespect account of what paternalism is, and why it is wrong, paternalism involves an anti-egalitarian, disrespectful attitude on the part of the paternalist: X (the paternalist) assumes an attitude of superiority when interfering in Y's matters for Y's good. Pace this account, the article argues that an important, although somewhat overlooked, form of paternalism is not, all things considered, insulting. This form of paternalism focusses on people's occasional lack of appropriate self-respect or their failure to see themselves as equals or to stand vis-à-vis others as such.