Lies, Control, and Consent: A Response to Dougherty and Manson

Ethics 128 (2):446-461 (2018)
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Tom Dougherty argues that culpably deceiving another person into sex is seriously wrong no matter what the content about which she is deceived. We argue that his explanation of why deception invalidates consent has extremely implausible implications. Though we reject Dougherty’s explanation, we defend his verdict about deception and consent to sex. We argue that he goes awry by conflating the disclosure requirement for consent and the understanding requirement. When these are distinguished, we can identify how deceptive disclosure invalidates consent. This alternative explanation also allows for a response to Neil Manson’s recent criticisms of Dougherty’s argument.

Author Profiles

Danielle Bromwich
University of Leeds
Joseph Millum
University of St. Andrews


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