Talk by Massimo Renzo: Two Kinds of Consent
"Two Kinds of Consent"
Abstract: What does it take to give morally valid consent? Is it enough that the consenter forms a particular mental state or does she also need to communicate the presence of that mental state? I defend a version of the first view. However, the main goal of the paper is methodological.
I suggest that in addressing the question of consent, it’s a mistake to focus primarily on the consenter, as most philosophical theories do. More attention needs to be paid to the consentee. Once we do that, we’ll see that two important revisions to the mainstream understanding of consent are called for: First, we should accept that a crucial function of consent is to guide people’s behaviour, and not simply to control the normative status of certain interactions. Second, we should acknowledge that there are two types of consent, grounded in different autonomy-related interests that underlie the justification of this power.