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Autonomy: Volume 20, Part 2 by Ellen Frankel Paul


Autonomy: Volume 20, Part 2 by Ellen Frankel Paul

A central idea in moral and political philosophy, 'autonomy' is generally understood as some form of self-governance or self-direction. Certain Stoics, modern philosophers such as Spinoza, and most importantly, Immanuel Kant, are among the great philosophers who have offered important insights on the concept. Some theorists analyze autonomy in terms of the self being moved by its higher-order desires. Others argue that autonomy must be understood in terms of acting from reason or from a sense of moral duty independent of the passions. Autonomy seems closely related to the notion of freedom, but in what sense: freedom from coercion, freedom from psychological constraints, or freedom from material necessity? Various approaches to these and similar questions yield different implications for public policy. Is capitalism, social democracy or socialism more favorable to autonomy? The essays in this volume address these important questions.


'this book brings together an impressive array of academic expertise whose contributions cover historical, ethical, political and even psychological perspectives of the concept and its application.'
The Philosophical Quarterly

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Book Info

Publication date

30th June 2003


Ellen Frankel Paul

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Cambridge University Press


360 pages


Social & political philosophy
Constitution: government & the state



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