Vesting Agent-Relative Permissions in a Proxy
Law and Philosophy, 37(6), 2018, pp. 671-695
26 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2019 Last revised: 31 Jan 2019
Date Written: September 19, 2018
We all have agent-relative permissions to give extra weight to our own well-being. If you and two strangers are drowning, and you can save either yourself or two strangers, you have an agent-relative permission to save yourself. But is it possible for you to ‘vest’ your agent-relative permissions in a third party — a ‘proxy’ — who can enact your agent-centered permissions on your behalf, thereby permitting her to do what would otherwise be impermissible? Some might think that the answer is ‘no’; it is definitive of agent-centered permissions that they apply only to the individuals ineliminably referenced in the content of that reason, which means that they lack reason-giving force for any ostensible proxy. The purpose of this paper is to (i) show that vesting agent-relative permissions is indeed possible, (ii) provide an account of how agent-relative permissions are vested by considering the structure of rights more generally, and (iii) show that we have a right to vest such permission in this way.
Keywords: agent-relativity, agent-neutrality, bodyguards, proxies, self-defense, disability, agent-centered
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation