Liberalism and Prostitution

Paperback | May 15, 2012

byPeter de Marneffe

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Civil libertarians characterize prostitution as a "victimless crime," and argue that it ought to be legalized. Feminist critics counter that prostitution is not victimless, since it harms the people who do it. Civil libertarians respond that most women freely choose to do this work, and thatit is paternalistic for the government to limit a person's liberty for her own good. In this book Peter de Marneffe argues that although most prostitution is voluntary, paternalistic prostitution laws in some form are nonetheless morally justifiable. If prostitution is commonly harmful in the waythat feminist critics maintain, then this argument for prostitution laws is not objectionably moralistic and some prostitution laws violate no one's rights. Paternalistic prostitution laws in some form are therefore consistent with the fundamental principles of contemporary liberalism.

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Civil libertarians characterize prostitution as a "victimless crime," and argue that it ought to be legalized. Feminist critics counter that prostitution is not victimless, since it harms the people who do it. Civil libertarians respond that most women freely choose to do this work, and thatit is paternalistic for the government to lim...

Peter deMarneffe is Professor of Philosophy, Head of Faculty of Philosophy, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University.

other books by Peter de Marneffe

The Legalization of Drugs
The Legalization of Drugs

Hardcover|Aug 29 2005

$95.93 online$95.95list price
Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:May 15, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199925941

ISBN - 13:9780199925940

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. A Paternalistic Case for Prostitution Laws2. Government Moralism3. The Permissibility of Paternalism4. Individual Rights5. Government Neutrality and PerfectionismConclusionIndex

Editorial Reviews

"On the whole, de Marneffe has written a thorough and sharp book challenging some tenets of liberalism and their application to prostitution laws. De Marneffe's book carefully explores the intersection of liberalism, paternalism, and prostitution laws and is important for anyone interested inthis area of criminal law theory." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews