Liberal Autonomy

Philosophy and Theology 4 (3):297-309 (1990)
Abstract
Theorists increasingly tum to autonomy (rather than liberty per se) as a grounding value for liberalism. This is, I argue, an iII-advised strategy. If autonomy is understood to differ from (negative) liberty insofar as it demands from agents significantly greater feats of self-determination, then it is not clear that autonomy is worth having. And, irrespective of whether autonomy is judged to be valuable, autonomy-based liberalisms eilher prescribe essentially the same constraints as classical liberalism - and thus are poIitically innocuous - or else require that the stale act non-neutrally with respect to its citizens - and thus are illiberal
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