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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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Unsavory Seduction and Manipulation

Unsavory Seduction and Manipulation

(p.176) 8 Unsavory Seduction and Manipulation

Eric M. Cave

Oxford University Press

In a scene from Neil Strauss’s The Game, Ross Jeffries turns his “Speed Seduction” techniques on a waitress. Jeffries evokes remembered feelings of sexual attraction in the waitress, then hypnotically “anchors” these feelings to himself. He thereby seduces her, and in a morally problematic way. To see this, consider subliminal advertising. Subliminal advertising creates consumer demand by purposefully altering motives using means that bypass rational capacities. Jeffries creates demand in the waitress for sex with him by using similar means. As we frown upon subliminal advertising, so should we frown upon such unsavory seduction. But it is not generally morally problematic to purposefully alter someone else’s motives to get that person to do what you want. And it is not generally morally problematic to motivate someone else by bypassing his rationality. So where is the problem with unsavory seduction? This chapter develops and assesses one possible answer to this question.

Keywords:   sexual ethics, manipulation, motive manipulation, seduction, sexual seduction, unsavory seduction, autonomy, sexual autonomy

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