Graduate studies at Western
Ethics 116 (2):263-284 (2006)
|Abstract||It is a commonplace that ‘autonomy’ has several different senses in contemporary moral and political discussion. The term’s original meaning was political: a right assumed by states to administer their own affairs. It was not until the nineteenth century that ‘autonomy’ came (in English) to refer also to the conduct of individuals, and even then there were, as now, different meanings.1 Odd as it may seem from our perspective, one that was in play from the beginning was Kant’s notion of “autonomy of the will,”2 as Kant deﬁned it, “the property of the will by which it is a law to itself independently of any property of the objects of volition” (4:440).3That’s a mouthful, to say the least. And interpreting..|
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