Permissible secrets


H Lazenby, I Gabriel

publication date



The Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271), 265-285


Award-winning paper (OUP Best of Philosophy, 2018) that offers an account of the information condition on morally valid consent in the context of sexual relations. The account is grounded in rights. It holds that a person has a sufficient amount of information to give morally valid consent if, and only if, she has all the information to which she has a claim-right.

A person has a claim-right to a piece of information if, and only if: a. it concerns a deal-breaker for her; b. it does not concern something that her partner has a strong interest in protecting from scrutiny, sufficient to generate a privilege-right; c.i. her partner is aware of the information to which her deal-breaker applies, or c.ii. her partner ought to be held responsible for the fact that he is not aware of the information to which her deal-breaker applies; and d. she has not waived or forfeited her claim-right.

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