Originally broadcast: August 14, 2016
We can all agree that forced prostitution is morally repugnant, but does it become more acceptable when it is voluntary? Many countries have legalized prostitution and many people think that the freedom to do what one wants with one’s own body should include the freedom to sell sex. But many others don’t, suggesting that no one can consent to sell their body, no matter how it might seem. Join Why? Radio for this controversial and interesting discussion.
Peter de Marneffe is a Professor of Philosophy at Arizona State University. He writes about liberty and liberalism, individual rights, and government paternalism. He is the author of Liberalism and Prostitution (Oxford University Press, 2010) and The Legalization of Drugs with Doug Husak (Cambridge University Press, 2005). He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard University in 1989, and wrote his dissertation, “Liberalism and Education,” under the direction of John Rawls and Thomas Scanlon. He has been a visiting fellow at the Princeton University Center for Human Values, the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and a visiting assistant professor at Stanford University.
The text of this episode’s monologue can be found here at our blog, PQED.