The Scope of Consent

The Scope of Consent
Joseph Millum
The Philosophical Quarterly, 2 July 2022
Suppose you come to my house and I invite you in. ‘I’m just heading out’, I say, ‘but make yourself at home’. I have consented to you remaining in my house, but what else? In your home, you put your feet up on the coffee table, so may you now do that in mine? If I complain that you’ve left crumbs from eating biscuits in my bed, can you defend yourself on the grounds that I told you to make yourself at home? These questions concern the scope of my consent. How we should ascertain the scope of someone’s consent is the topic of Tom Dougherty’s book. The book is divided into three main parts, each corresponding to a view about what fixes the scope of consent: the mental account, the successful communication account, and the evidential account, which Dougherty favours…

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