Caring for Valid Sexual Consent (forthcoming in Hypatia | penultimate draft) Consent derives its normative power from what we autonomously want and is justified by how well it shapes our experiences. However, when philosophers consider factors compromising autonomy in consent, they often focus solely on the consent-giver’s agential capacities, overlooking the impact of the consent-receiver’s conduct on the consensual character of the activity. In this paper, I argue that valid consent requires justified trust in the consent-receiver to act only within the scope of consent. I call this the Trust Condition (TC), drawing on Katherine Hawley’s commitment account of trust. TC constitutes a belief that the consent-receiver is capable and willing to act as we expect from them. If such trust is not warranted, I argue, consent lacks appropriate normative grounds. After establishing TC, I explore its application in the sexual arena, asserting that due to the non-contractual aspects of sexual activity — such as the dynamic nature of sexual desires and the absence of external factors effectively binding sexual partners to the terms of consent — trust is warranted in sexual consent by means of care. I define care as a special sensitivity and attention toward the partner’s will and discuss how this approach leads to safer intimate relationships in practice.
Under Review (Drafts are available upon request)
Participant Trust The dominant view in the literature of trust is that it’s a three-place relation, expressed as “A trusts B to X,” with X representing the performance of an action/task. However, this model faces challenges in accommodating broader forms of trust, such as general trust (A trusts B) or trust across a domain, failing the commitments of the tripartite model and the phenomenology of such instances of trust. In response, I propose that 'X' may also encompass a commitment to follow sets of rules or principles, instead of a commitment to act in certain ways. I introduce the term 'Participant Trust' to describe such cases where the trustor’s commitments to certain rules or principles are entailed by their participation in a social system, and argue that this framework enables us to tackle the aforementioned issues and accommodate diverse relations we establish in different social and interpersonal settings.
Kant on Moral Trust In this paper, I explore the overlooked intersection within Kant's moral philosophy, contending that trust is an essential component intertwined with respect, forming a foundational basis for moral interpersonal relationships. Drawing from Kant's second formulation of the categorical imperative, I establish a Kantian framework for moral trust. Beyond compatibility with Kant's moral principles, I argue that trust is a moral imperative in itself. To clarify this requirement, I delve into the concept of a “kingdom of ends,” traditionally applied in political contexts but potentially extendable to interpersonal relationships. By advocating respect and trust among fellow agents, we can establish a private “kingdom of ends,” fostering mutual trustworthiness and collaboration.
Do You Mind Violating My Will? Revisiting and Asserting Autonomy In this paper, I discuss a subset of preferences in which a person wants the violation of desire they chose to make effective. I argue that such cases provides us with a unique insight into personal autonomy from a proceduralist standpoint. Proceduralists, such as Frankfurt and Dworkin, defend a liberal and content-neutral approach, in which autonomy entails the agent's endorsement of the desires that move her actions. In the first part of my argument, I analyze some examples in light of Frankfurt's endorsement theory and argue that even while we cannot endorse a practical decision we want to be violated, we nonetheless regard those cases (under certain conditions) as blatantly autonomous. Therefore, autonomy does not necessarily require endorsement. Instead, I propose that the nature of the relevant highest-order volition dictates what procedure should be established in one’s desire structure for its fulfillment. In the second part, I discuss how the agent may effectively consent to the violation of their decision by another person. Because ordinary consent refers to actions but fails to communicate one's higher-order desires or commitments, I propose a practical tool that accomplishes this by signaling shifts in the normative context agents interact.