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Unpublished Paper
The Social Enforcement of Morality
Social Science Research Network
  • William A. Edmundson, Georgia State University College of Law
Document Type
Unpublished Paper
Publication Date

Morality is often depicted as a structure consisting of two concentric spheres: an outer sphere and an inner. The outer sphere is composed of moral requirements whose violation exposes the actor to some permissible social sanction. The inner sphere, in contrast, is composed of moral requirements whose violation is no one else's business, and which are exposed to no permissible sanction at all, other than those brought to bear by the actor's conscience or with the actor's consent. This work-in-progress examines and repudiates this seductive picture.


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Citation Information
William A. Edmundson, The Social Enforcement of Morality, Social Sciences Research Network (July 17, 2003), available at