Sexual Consent and Epistemic Agency

Jennifer Lackey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


In “Sexual Consent and Epistemic Agency,” Jennifer Lackey examines sexual consent in the context of the widely accepted thesis that knowledge is sufficient for epistemically permissible action; that is, the view according to which if someone knows a given proposition, then it is epistemically permissible for this person to act on it. To the extent that this is denied, it is argued that either more, or less, than knowledge is required, such as certainty or justified belief. Lackey shows that being able to act on knowledge that someone has consented to sex provides an interesting challenge to this framework. In particular, Lackey argues that someone may know that another consents to sex and yet it may still be epistemically impermissible to act on this knowledge. This is clearest when the knowledge of the consent in question is secondhand, rather than firsthand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationApplied Epistemology
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780198833659
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Epistemic agency
  • Firsthand knowledge
  • Knowledge norm of action
  • Knowledge of consent
  • Secondhand knowledge
  • Sexual consent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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