Manipulation: Theory and Practice


In all groups — from couples to nation-states — people influence one another. Much of this influence is benign, for example giving advice to friends or serving as role models for our children and students. Some forms of influence, however, are clearly morally suspect, such as threats of
violence and blackmail. A great deal of attention has been paid to one form of morally suspect influence, namely coercion. Less attention has been paid to what might be a more pervasive form of influence: manipulation. The essays in this volume address this relative imbalance by focusing on
manipulation, examining its nature, moral status, and its significance in personal and social life.
They address a number of central questions: What counts as manipulation? How is it distinguished from coercion and ordinary rational persuasion? Is it always wrong, or can it sometimes be justified, and if so, when? Is manipulative influence more benign than coercion? Can one manipulate
unintentionally? How does being manipulated to act bear on one’s moral responsibly for so acting? Given various answers to these questions, what should we think of practices such as advertising and seduction?

About the Author

Christian Coons is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University. His research focuses on theory selection in normative ethics, the nature of value, and the structural relationship between normative concepts. He has published work in each of the major sub-fields of moral
philosophy: applied ethics, normative ethics, axiology, metaethics, and political and legal theory.Michael Weber is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Bowling Green State University. He has published widely in ethics and political philosophy, with emphasis on contemporary egalitarianism, rational choice theory, and ethics and the emotions. His papers have appeared in
journals including in EthicsEthical Theory and Moral Practice, The Canadian Philosophical ReviewPhilosophical StudiesThe International Encyclopedia of EthicsThe Journal of Ethics and Social Policy, The Journal of Ethics, and Public Affairs Quarterly. He is also co-editor (with Christian
Coons) of Paternalism: Theory and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2013). He previously taught at Yale University, having earned a Ph.d in philosophy at the University of Michigan, a B. A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, and a B. A. from Williams College.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Oxford University Press; 1st edition (August 1, 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Pages ‏ : ‎ 272 pages


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