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Véronique Munoz-Dardé (UCL): “The Shadow of Consent”
4 March 2020, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Abstract: In this talk, I discuss the role of consent in permissible sexual interaction. I’ll suggest that the focus on consent as an individual act may be a symptom of a narrow focus on individual rights and permissions as framing the moral domain; but that joint, co-operative activity is not well fitted into this normative vocabulary. This raises a further puzzle. It is a manifest sociological fact that consent, and competence at tracking its presence or absence, has come to the forefront of the attempted regulation of the activities of teenagers and young adults. What are we to make of this focus, if it is not grounded in our understanding of the wrongs of bad sex? I offer a speculative hypothesis about this sociology, and draw out a couple of normative consequences.
Véronique Munoz-Dardé is a Professor of Philosophy at University College London. Her research is principally in practical reasoning, ethics and political philosophy, as well as in eighteenth century political thought, particularly that of Rousseau and Hume.