Legal Paternalism and the Eclipse of Principle
44 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2016 Last revised: 4 Sep 2020
Date Written: June 19, 2016
Legal paternalism involves, very roughly, requiring persons to do something for their own good. We often think of debates between legal paternalists and non-paternalists as taking place largely at the level of broad, basic principle. This Article argues, however, that in our culture, disputes over the proper scope of legal paternalism will increasingly focus not on issues of basic principle, but on much more detailed, concrete, particular, contextualized matters. The four major reasons for this eclipse of basic principles bearing upon legal paternalism are herein identified, explored, and illustrated.
Keywords: Jurisprudence, Paternalism, John Stuart Mill, Autonomy, Immanuel Kant, Libertarianism, Behavioral Regulation, Assisted Suicide
JEL Classification: K14, K20, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation