Title

The Ontology of Consent

Authors

Larry Alexander

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

In this paper, I show that consent is neither a performative nor a mental state plus a signification thereof. Rather, consent is a mental state, that of waiving one’s moral or legal objection to the consented-to act. Signification provides evidence of consent but does not constitute its existence. It can, however, affect the culpability of those who act with or without that evidence. Consent does depend on what information the putative consenter possesses regarding the act in question. The informational requisites of valid consent is a quite difficult and undertheorized topic. The motivational requisites of valid consent, however, is not a difficult matter.

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