Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 14, 1988/1989

Steven Jay Gold
Pages 115-120

Non-Voluntary Compliance

It is often assumed that one cannot be forced to accept an offer as one can always reject it and be no worse off than one would have been had the offer not been made; offers involve benefits rather than the pains associated with threats. The confusion arises from the fact that we often also assume that in all cases where Q is forced to choose to do what P wants him to do, P coerces Q. I have argued that coercion is only one “mode of non-voluntary compliance”. By distinguishing the different ways one can be forced to comply with another’s wishes, I have attempted to sketch out the various ways that non-voluntary compliance can operate with offers as well as threats.