Entrapment, temptation and virtue testing

Philosophical Studies 179 (8):2429–2447 (2022)
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We address the ethics of scenarios in which one party entraps, intentionally tempts or intentionally tests the virtue of another. We classify, in a new manner, three distinct types of acts that are of concern, namely acts of entrapment, of intentional temptation and of virtue testing. Our classification is, for each kind of scenario, of itself neutral concerning the question whether the agent acts permissibly. We explain why acts of entrapment are more ethically objectionable than like acts of intentional temptation and why these, in turn, are more ethically objectionable than like acts of virtue testing. Along the way, we scrutinize, and eventually reject, the view that acts of entrapment are ethically unacceptable because intentional temptation is involved in entrapment.

Author Profiles

Attila Tanyi
University of Tromsø
Stephen K. McLeod
University of Liverpool
Daniel Hill
University of Liverpool


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