American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 91, Issue 1, Winter 2017

Adam D. Bailey
Pages 95-112

Political Perfectionism and the Moral Acceptability of Pure Paternalism

In this essay, I argue against an important position in contemporary perfectionist political philosophy, which holds both that the state is instrumental in nature and that there are principled, rather than merely prudential, limits on the scope of state authority such that pure paternalism is not morally acceptable. By so doing, I provide a conditional defense of the moral acceptability of pure paternalism.