Author Archives: Scott Anderson

Call for Emerging Scholar Workshop Participants: Workshop on Recent Trends in the Philosophy of Coercion

Call for Emerging Scholar Participants:  Workshop on Current Issues in Coercion

Applications are invited from current advanced doctoral students and recent PhD graduates/early career scholars to participate in a workshop on current issues in coercion, to be held on the campus of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, March 25-26, 2017.  This workshop occurs at the culmination of a SSHRC-funded project on “The Regulation of Coercion,” led by Scott Anderson of the University of British Columbia.  The workshop will feature the participation of and work by leading experts on coercion, including:

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PPPS: “Coercion as Enforcement”

I’m grateful for the opportunity to participate in this forum, and thank Simon May and Public Reason for the work in organizing this symposium.

My paper provides a positive account of coercion that responds to difficulties I have found in many recent writings about coercion.  It enters these debates through what seems a bit of an off-hand distinction that some have made, between coercion via threat, and uses of direct force or violence for similar purposes (such as to constrain an agent from being able to act).  Some philosophers have made a big deal of the claim that coercion has to go “through the will” of the coercee, and thus direct force is not coercive.  By and large, though, most recent writers have simply assumed this to be so, as though it were obvious. This seems to me quite at variance with older notions of coercion, so this change is worth remarking upon.

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