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How to Treat Persons$
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Samuel J. Kerstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199692033

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692033.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 March 2021

The Mere Means Principle

The Mere Means Principle

Chapter:
(p.53) 3 The Mere Means Principle
Source:
How to Treat Persons
Author(s):

Samuel J. Kerstein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692033.003.0003

This chapter develops an account of treating another as a means, that is, using another, which is a kind of action that is often morally permissible. Treating another merely as a means (or just using another) is typically wrong, the chapter argues, in contrast to Derek Parfit’s position. Inspired by Kant, one might hold that an agent treats another merely as a means if the other cannot share the end she is pursuing in using him or, instead, if he is unable to consent to her using him. One might interpret this inability to consent in terms of it being irrational to consent or, rather, in terms of the lack of an opportunity to consent. The chapter rejects these views individually but tries to combine elements of some of them into a plausible sufficient condition for an agent’s treating another merely as a means, namely the Hybrid Account.

Keywords:   consent, end sharing, just using, kant, means, mere means, parfit, rational consent, using

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