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ManipulationTheory and Practice$
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Christian Coons and Michael Weber

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199338207

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199338207.001.0001

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The Mens Rea and Moral Status of Manipulation

The Mens Rea and Moral Status of Manipulation

(p.98) 4 The Mens Rea and Moral Status of Manipulation

Marcia Baron

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores two matters only briefly touched on in earlier work: for purposes of clarity, in her “Manipulativeness,” Baron took a stand on whether manipulation requires intent and whether “manipulative” is best understood as allowing for the possibility that the quality or action described as manipulative is unobjectionable. This chapter revisits both issues, and explores in more detail what it means to say that manipulation requires intent. It argues that manipulation does require intent (though the intent need not be conscious); laying out and discussing various positions one might take on the moral status of manipulation, the chapter explores the possibility that (contrary to what appears in “Manipulativeness”) “manipulative” is not best understood as a moralized term and that manipulating another person is sometimes morally unobjectionable.

Keywords:   lying, deceiving, moral status, intent, mens rea, manipulativeness, Strawson, coercion, insult, apology

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