Autonomy, vulnerability, recognition, and justice

Abstract
One of liberalism’s core commitments is to safeguarding individuals’ autonomy. And a central aspect of liberal social justice is the commitment to protecting the vulnerable. Taken together, and combined with an understanding of autonomy as an acquired set of capacities to lead one’s own life, these commitments suggest that liberal societies should be especially concerned to address vulnerabilities of individuals regarding the development and maintenance of their autonomy. In this chapter, we develop an account of what it would mean for a society to take seriously the obligation to reduce individuals’ autonomy-related vulnerabilities to an acceptable minimum. In particular, we argue that standard liberal accounts underestimate the scope of this obligation because they fail to appreciate various threats to autonomy.
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    Carla Bagnoli (2009). The Mafioso Case: Autonomy and Self-Respect. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):477 - 493.
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