About this topic
Summary Autonomy is one of the most often discussed topics in modern and contemporary philosophy.  It is key to some moral theories, some political philosophies, and, of course, central to understanding the nature of personhood.  Unsurprisingly, then, there are significant disagreements about the nature of autonomy.  There are thinner and thicker understandings of autonomy throughout the literature.  There are moral and political demands that autonomy be protected or promoted.  Its use as a central value in applied ethics is standard.  Generally speaking, then, there are disagreements about what autonomy is and how and why it matters in moral theory and political philosophy.
Key works It is difficult to say what would count as a "key work" here.  Historically, Kant is likely the most important author to consider.  His deontological moral theory rests on a particularly thick conception of autonomy. For a detailed historical overview of autonomy in modern philosophy, it may be best to start with J.B. Schneewind's 1998 The Invention of Autonomy.
Introductions Perhaps the best place to start considering the nature of autonomy is Stephen Darwall's 2006. See also John Christman's SEP entry.
  Show all references
Related categories
Subcategories:History/traditions: Autonomy
1548 found
Search inside:
(import / add options)   Sort by:
1 — 50 / 1548
Material to categorize
  1. Sandra Abdo (2005). Sobre o problema da autonomia da arte e suas implicações hermenêuticas e ontológicas. Kriterion 46 (112):357-366.
    Remove from this list |
    Translate to English
    | Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  2. Richard Adams (2013). Moral Autonomy in Australian Legislation and Military Doctrine. Ethics and Global Politics 6 (3).
    "Australian legislation and military doctrine stipulate that soldiers ‘subjugate their will’ to" "government, and fight in any war the government declares. Neither legislation nor doctrine enables the conscience of soldiers. Together, provisions of legislation and doctrine seem to take soldiers for granted. And, rather than strengthening the military instrument, the convention of legislation and doctrine seems to weaken the democratic foundations upon which the military may be shaped as a force for justice. Denied liberty of their conscience, soldiers are denied (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  3. Robert Alcock (2014). Ian's Story: His Right to Self-Determination. Ethics and Social Welfare 8 (1):77-85.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  4. Chris Armstrong (2011). Shared Understandings, Collective Autonomy, and Global Equality. Ethics and Global Politics 4 (1).
  5. Robert Jan Willem Bouhuijs (2006). De Gefragmenteerde Staat: Een Onderzoek Naar de Relatieve Autonomie van de Staat Onder Het Moderne Kapitalisme. Het Spinhuis.
    Remove from this list |
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  6. M. E. Button (forthcoming). Reading Emerson in Neoliberal Times: Contesting the Abandonment of Autonomy. Political Theory.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  7. Daniel Carpenter (forthcoming). The Leaning Tower of PISA: Fundamental Problems in Ignorance-Based Theories of State Autonomy. Critical Review.
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  8. Daniel Carpenter (2007). The Leaning Tower of “Pisa”: Public Ignorance, Issue Publics, and State Autonomy: Reply to DeCanio. Critical Review 19 (1):157-164.
    ABSTRACT In the pages of this journal, Samuel DeCanio and colleagues have advanced the proposition that public ignorance (PI) can lead to state autonomy (SA), inasmuch as the public cannot constrain state actions of which it is unaware. The pisa framework, while original and deserving of further research, needs to take account of complicating factors on both the public ignorance and the state autonomy sides of the equation. ?Knowledge,? and thus ?ignorance,? is a matter of diverse interpretations, so what seems (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  9. Ben Colburn (2014). Disadvantage, Autonomy, and the Continuity Test. Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (1).
    The Continuity Test is the principle that a proposed distribution of resources is wrong if it treats someone as disadvantaged when they don't see it that way themselves, for example by offering compensation for features that they do not themselves regard as handicaps. This principle — which is most prominently developed in Ronald Dworkin's defence of his theory of distributive justice — is an attractive one for a liberal to endorse as part of her theory of distributive justice and disadvantage. (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  10. Nandini Devi (2013). Supported Decision‐Making and Personal Autonomy for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities: Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 41 (4):792-806.
    Making decisions is an important component of everyday living, and issues surrounding autonomy and self-determination are crucial for persons with intellectual disabilities. Article 12 (Equal Recognition before the Law) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities addresses this issue of decision-making for persons with disabilities: the recognition of legal capacity. Legal capacity means recognizing the right to make decisions for oneself. Article 12 is also moving in the direction of supported decision-making, as an alternative to substituted (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  11. Paul Formosa (2013). Kant's Conception of Personal Autonomy. Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (3):193-212.
  12. Carlos Fraenkel (2010). Theocracy and Autonomy in Medieval Islamic and Jewish Philosophy. Political Theory 38 (3):340 - 366.
    According to both contemporary intuitions and scholarly opinion, autonomy is something specifically modern. It is certainly taken to be incompatible with religions like Islam and Judaism, if these are invested with political power. Both religions are seen as centered on a divine Law (sharî'a, viz., torah) which prescribes what we may and may not do, promising reward for obedience and threatening punishment for disobedience. Not we, but God makes the rules. This picture is in important ways misleading. There is, I (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (8 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  13. Benjamin Ginsberg (2007). Autonomy and Duplicity: Reply to DeCanio. Critical Review 19 (1):165-180.
    ABSTRACT While Samuel DeCanio is correct to maintain that the state has considerable autonomy due to the public?s vast ignorance of the government?s affairs, he neglects to consider that the public?s ignorance also stems from the deceptions of the politically powerful, who withhold and distort information in a variety of ways. This can take the form of outright lies; anonymous leaks; press and video releases that don?t mention the originating group or its interests; giving reporters access to otherwise inaccessible information, (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  14. Agnes Heller (2008). Autonomy of Art or the Dignity of the Artwork. Critical Horizons 9 (2):139-155.
    In this essay I want to show that while the concept of autonomy can hardly make a meaningful contribution to the understanding of contemporary artworks, the concept of the dignity of artwork can make such a contribution.
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  15. Norbert Herold (1985). Kant on Freedom as Autonomy. Philosophy and History 18 (2):123-124.
  16. B. Hindess (2005). Book Review: Freedom and its Conditions: Discipline, Autonomy, and Resistance. [REVIEW] Political Theory 33 (5):737-740.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  17. Kelley Johnson (2013). The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: A Framework for Ethical and Inclusive Practice? Ethics and Social Welfare 7 (3):218-231.
    The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was passed in 2006 and came into force in 2008. It sets out a number of core values, including dignity, individual autonomy, non-discrimination, participation and community inclusion. Although the CRPD has been recognised as an important step forward by many disabled people and their supporters and provides the foundation for building a good life, the author argues that it does not necessarily equate with it. The underpinning Western values of (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  18. Robert N. Johnson (2007). Value and Autonomy in Kantian Ethics. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume Ii. Clarendon Press.
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  19. Philip Parvin Marina Oshana (2007). Personal Autonomy in Society. Contemporary Political Theory 6 (4):492.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  20. Marina Oshana & Philip Parvin (2007). Personal Autonomy in Society. Contemporary Political Theory 6 (4):492-496.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  21. B. Roessler (2009). Autonomie und Ambivalenz. In von R. Forst (ed.), Sozialphilosophie und Kritik. Suhrkamp Taschenbuch.
    Remove from this list |
    Translate to English
    |
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  22. B. Roessler (2002). Autonomy. Problems and Limits. Philosophical Explorations 5 (3).
    Remove from this list |
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  23. Christian F. Rostbøll (2011). Freedom of Expression, Deliberation, Autonomy and Respect. European Journal of Political Theory 10 (1):5-21.
    This paper elaborates on the deliberative democracy argument for freedom of expression in terms of its relationship to different dimensions of autonomy. It engages the objection that Enlightenment theories pose a threat to cultures that reject autonomy and argues that autonomy-based democracy is not only compatible with but necessary for respect for cultural diversity. On the basis of an intersubjective epistemology, it argues that people cannot know how to live on mutually respectful terms without engaging in public deliberation and developing (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  24. Christian F. Rostbøll (2009). Autonomy, Respect, and Arrogance in the Danish Cartoon Controversy. Political Theory 37 (5):623 - 648.
    Autonomy is increasingly rejected as a fundamental principle by liberal political theorists because it is regarded as incompatible with respect for diversity. This article seeks, via an analysis of the Danish cartoon controversy, to show that the relationship between autonomy and diversity is more complex than often posited. Particularly, it asks whether the autonomy defense of freedom of expression encourages disrespect for religious feelings. Autonomy leads to disrespect for diversity only when it is understood as a character ideal that must (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  25. Christopher Skeaff (2012). Book Review: Spinoza on Human Freedom: Reason, Autonomy and the Good Life. [REVIEW] Political Theory 40 (4):531-535.
  26. Yannis Stavrakakis (2003). Agnes Heller: Socialism, Autonomy and the Postmodern. Contemporary Political Theory 2 (1):121.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  27. Mary Walsh (2006). Democratic Autonomy: Public Reasoning About the Ends of Policy. Contemporary Political Theory 5 (2):220.
Autonomy in Political Theories
  1. S. Akhtar (2011). Liberal Recognition for Identity? Only for Particularized Ones. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 10 (1):66-87.
    Communitarian writers argue that social identity is deeply important to individual autonomy and thus liberal societies have an obligation to recognize identity. Any liberal view that attempts to account for this charge must specify a procedure to recognize identity that also ensures that the liberal sense of autonomy is not weakened. In this article, I develop such an account. I argue that liberals must distinguish an identity that belongs to particular persons (particularized identity) from the collective form of that identity. (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  2. Linda Alcoff (ed.) (2006). Identity Politics Reconsidered. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Based on the ongoing work of the agenda-setting Future of Minority Studies national research project, Identity Politics Reconsidered reconceptualizes the scholarly and political significance of social identity. It focuses on the deployment of “identity” within ethnic-, women’s-, disability-, and gay and lesbian studies in order to stimulate discussion about issues that are simultaneously theoretical and practical, ranging from ethics and epistemology to political theory and pedagogical practice. This collection of powerful essays by both well-known and emerging scholars offers original answers (...)
    Remove from this list |
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  3. Amy Allen (2007). The Politics of Our Selves: Power, Autonomy, and Gender in Contemporary Critical Theory. Columbia University Press.
    Introduction : the politics of our selves -- Foucault, subjectivity, and the enlightenment : a critical reappraisal -- The impurity of practical reason : power and autonomy in Foucault -- Dependency, subordination, and recognition : Butler on subjection -- Empowering the lifeworld? autonomy and power in Habermas -- Contextualizing critical theory -- Engendering critical theory.
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  4. Sen Amartya (2006). Reason, Freedom and Well-Being. Utilitas 18 (1):80-96.
    I am embarrassed at being placed in the dizzying company of one of the truly great thinkers in the world. The similarities between Mill's ideas and mine partly reflect, of course, his influence on my thinking. But I also discuss some difficulties in taking Mill's whole theory without modification, since there are internal tensions within it. In a paper I published in 1967, I tried to discuss how Mill's willingness to hold on to some contrary positions depended on the nature (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  5. Elizabeth Anderson (2008). An Epistemic Defense of Democracy: David Estlund's Democratic Authority. Episteme 5 (1):pp. 129-139.
    In Democratic Authority, David Estlund 2008 presents a major new defense of democracy, called epistemic proceduralism. The theory claims that democracy exercises legitimate authority in virtue of possessing a modest epistemic power: its decisions are the product of procedures that tend to produce just laws at a better than chance rate, and better than any other type of government that is justifiable within the terms of public reason. The balance Estlund strikes between epistemic and non-epistemic justifications of democracy is open (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (9 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  6. Joel Anderson & Rutger Claassen (2012). Sailing Alone: Teenage Autonomy and Regimes of Childhood. [REVIEW] Law and Philosophy 31 (5):495-522.
    Should society intervene to prevent the risky behavior of precocious teenagers even if it would be impermissible to intervene with adults who engage in the same risky behavior? The problem is well illustrated by the legal case of the 13-year-old Dutch girl Laura Dekker, who set out in 2009 to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone, succeeding in January 2012. In this paper we use her case as a point of entry for discussing the fundamental (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (8 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  7. Carlo Argenton & Enzo Rossi (2013). Pluralism, Preferences, and Deliberation: A Critique of Sen's Constructive Argument for Democracy. Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (2):129-145.
    In this paper we argue that Sen's defence of liberal democracy suffers from a moralistic and pro-liberal bias that renders it unable to take pluralism as seriously as it professes to do. That is because Sen’s commitment to respecting pluralism is not matched by his account of how to individuate the sorts of preferences that ought to be included in democratic deliberation. Our argument generalises as a critique of the two most common responses to the fact of pluralism in contemporary (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (8 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  8. Richard J. Arneson (2005). Do Patriotic Ties Limit Global Justice Duties? Journal of Ethics 9 (1-2):127 - 150.
    Some theorists who accept the existence of global justice duties to alleviate the condition of distant needy strangers hold that these duties are significantly constrained by special ties to fellow countrymen. The patriotic priority thesis holds that morality requires the members of each nation-state to give priority to helping needy fellow compatriots over more needy distant strangers. Three arguments for constraint and patriotic priority are examined in this essay: an argument from fair play, one from coercion, another from coercion and (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  9. M. B. (1979). The Politics of Autonomy. Review of Metaphysics 32 (3):556-557.
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  10. Thomas Baldwin (2009). Recognition: Personal and Political. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (3):311-328.
    Recognition plays a central role in international affairs and in moral and political theory. Hegel noted the connections between these two contexts, and this article explores Hegel's approach with reference to the work of two political philosophers (Honneth and Rawls) and debates in international law. The conclusion is that while recognition has a constitutive role in international affairs, it has a different role in moral and political theory: morality is the evaluative recognition of the significance of individual autonomy.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (8 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  11. Ayelet Banai (2013). Political Self-Determination and Global Egalitarianism. Social Theory and Practice 39 (1):45-69.
    Proponents of global egalitarian justice often argue that their positions are compatible with the principle of self-determination. At the same time, prominent arguments in favor of global egalitarianism object to one central component of the principle: namely, that the borders of states (or other political units) are normatively significant for the allocation of rights and duties; that duties of justice and democratic rights should stop or change at borders. In this article, I propose an argument in defense of the normative (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  12. F. M. Barnard (1988). Self-Direction and Political Legitimacy: Rousseau and Herder. Oxford University.
    Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803) has been called the German Rousseau. Yet while Rousseau is recognized as a political thinker, Herder is not. This book explores each thinker's ideas--on nature and culture, selfhood and mutuality, paternalism, freedom, and autonomy--and compares their conceptions of legitimate statehood. Arguing that the crux of political legitimacy for both men was the possibility of "extended selfhood," Barnard shows that Herder, like Rousseau, profoundly altered human self-understandings, thus influencing modes of justifying political allegiance.
    Remove from this list |
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  13. Zygmunt Bauman (1999). In Search of Politics. Stanford University Press.
    Why do most of us consider ourselves free but also believe there is little we can change in the way the world is run - individually, severally, or even collectively? Why has the growth of individual freedom coincided with the growth of collective impotence? Bauman argues that this condition hangs on the agora - the space where private and public meet to seek the creation of 'public good', a 'just society', or 'shared values'. The problem is that little remains of (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  14. Bernard H. Baumrin (1976). Autonomy in Rawls and Kant. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 1 (1):55-57.
  15. Sebastiano Bavetta & Pietro Navarra (2012). The Economics of Freedom. Cambridge University Press.
    What is freedom? Can we measure it? Does it affect policy? This book develops an original measure of freedom called 'Autonomy Freedom', consistent with J. S. Mill's view of autonomy, and applies it to issues in policy and political design. The work pursues three aims. First, it extends classical liberalism beyond exclusive reliance on negative freedom so as to take autonomous behavior explicitly into account. Second, it grounds on firm conceptual foundations a new standard in the measurement of freedom that (...)
    Remove from this list |
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  16. A. Beaulieu (2010). Towards a Liberal Utopia: The Connection Between Foucault's Reporting on the Iranian Revolution and the Ethical Turn. Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (7):801-818.
    The shift in Foucault’s work from genealogy to ethics finds consensus among Foucault scholars. However, the motivations behind this transition remain either misunderstood or understudied in large part. Foucault’s recently published or soon-to-be translated 1977/—9 lectures (published as Security, Territory, Population and as The Birth of Biopolitics) offer new elements for understanding this dense and uncharted period along Foucault’s itinerary. In this article, the author argues that Foucault’s interpretation of the liberal tradition, which is at the core of the 1977—9 (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  17. J. Beck Hoy (1979). Three Conceptions of Autonomy in Rawis' Theory of Justice. Philosophy and Social Criticism 6 (1):58-78.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  18. Rodger Beehler (1989). Autonomy and the Democratic Principle. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 19 (4):575 - 581.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  19. Donald Beggs (2009). Postliberal Theory. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (3):219 - 234.
    This paper begins with a critical part and concludes with a constructive part. First, with reference to a definition of liberalism and using immanent critique, I show deficiencies in the claims of four selfprofessed postliberals to have articulated non-liberal positions. Then, I argue that postliberal political theory consists in acknowledging that in political contexts some voluntary groups as such can be moral, not merely political, agents. Analysis of what moral autonomy is for persons as empirical (not noumenal) agents reveals that (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  20. Christina M. Bellon (2011). The Politics of Ourselves: Power, Autonomy, and Gender in Contemporary Critical Theory. By Amy Allen. Metaphilosophy 42 (3):340-345.
  21. Elizabeth Ben-Ishai (2009). The Autonomy-Fostering State: "Coordinated Fragmentation" and Domestic Violence Services. Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (3):307-331.
  22. Yaacov Ben-Shemesh (2005). Neutrality Without Autonomy. Law and Philosophy 24 (5):435-466.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (9 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  23. Christopher Bennett (2003). Liberalism, Autonomy and Conjugal Love. Res Publica 9 (3):285-301.
    This paper argues that a liberal state is justified in promoting relationships of conjugal love – the form of relationship that is the basis of the institution of marriage – on the grounds that they are essential to the development and maintenance of autonomy. A deep human need is that the detail of our lives be recognized (accepted, affirmed, granted importance) by others (or by an other). Autonomy can be compromised when this need is not met. So a state concerned (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
1 — 50 / 1548