PHIL237 Final.docx - Final Take-Home Exam Phil 237 Winter...

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Final Take-Home Exam Phil 237, Winter 2020 Instructions: Write a short response (about one large paragraph) to each of the following questions. (1) What is Dougherty’s “argument from the chihuahua” and what does he take it to show about sexual consent? In his paper, Dougherty claims to be against the lenient theory, he believes that deceiving another person into sex is entirely wrong and there is no valid reasoning behind deception. The chihuahua argument is used to explain why those who are deceived do not consent to any sexual activities. The example used in his paper states that Aisha wants to bring her chihuahua into her friend’s apartment, Aisha knows this friend hates chihuahua’s, so she says her dog is a Great Dane. Aisha’s defense claims that this friend consented to the arrangement by agreeing to the Great Dane, but in reality, Aisha has trespassed onto the property by claiming her chihuahua was a Great Dane. Dougherty admits that there are some superficial differences in the chihuahua argument if compared to sexual consent; a home versus a body and a dog versus sexual contact. Nonetheless, it is clear through this argument that Dougherty believes any deception causes invalid moral consent from the other person who is involved. From this argument, Dougherty has clearly rejected the notion that someone consents to sex when deceived by run of the mill deception. Moreover, knowing about one’s deal breakers should be enough to emphasize the absence of consent between partners. However, one issue is that knowledge of these deal breakers can be extremely hard to come by for several reasons. For starters, we aren’t always aware of the exact reason we choose to have sex with someone. Despite this, Dougherty argues that if there is deception on the basis that there is a possibility of rejection, there is still no consensual sex that has been agreed upon between the two partners involved. In Aisha’s case, she lied about her dog being a chihuahua in case her friend didn’t like this breed of dog, thus she still does not have the valid, moral consent of her friend here. To put this in terms of sexual consent, if someone deceives a partner with the goal of avoiding any deal breakers impeding on the sexual activities, then there is clearly no valid moral consent between these partners.
(2) What is Liberto’s thrift-store analogy and what does she take it to show about sexual consent?

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