“Why Is Manipulation Wrong?”
with Massimo Renzo
April 11, 2023
The notion of manipulation is increasingly invoked in relation to pressing issues discussed in the news and in public discourse. Consider, for example, the heated debates on how propaganda and misinformation have been recently used to lead people to question the results of democratic elections. Or the (more sober) discussions of whether governments are permitted to “nudge” their citizens toward beneficial behaviour in ways that seem to bypass their capacity to choose. Running through these debates is the idea that certain behaviours are objectionable in virtue of their being manipulative. And yet, the problem of manipulation has received scant attention in philosophical circles. Philosophers have written extensively about coercion and about deception, but surprisingly little about manipulation. The aim of this paper is to help remedy this lacuna by offering an account of the nature and the morality of a particular type of manipulation.
This event satisfied a CLE requirement.
Massimo Renzo is Professor of Politics, Philosophy & Law at King’s College London. He has held visiting appointments at the Australian National University, the universities of Virginia and Arizona, the Murphy Institute, the National University of Singapore and the Nathanson Centre for Transnational Human Rights, Crime & Security. He is an affiliated researcher at the Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War & Peace and the Honorary Secretary of the Society for Applied Philosophy.
He is also one of the editors of the journal Criminal Law & Philosophy. He works primarily in legal and political philosophy. His main research interests are in the problems of political authority, international justice and the philosophical foundations of the criminal law.