Michael Quante, Menschenwürde und personale Autonomie. Demokratische Werte im Kontext der Lebenswissenschaften Content Type Journal Article Pages 601-603 DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9278-7 Authors Claudia Wiesemann, Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University Medical Center Göttingen, Humboldtallee 36, 37073 Göttingen, Germany Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820 Journal Volume Volume 14 Journal Issue Volume 14, Number 5.
Tim Henning, Person sein und Geschichten erzählen: Eine Studie über personale Autonomie und narrative Gründe Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10677-012-9341-z Authors Logi Gunnarsson, Department of Philosophy, University of Potsdam, 14469 Potsdam, Germany Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820.
This chapter identifies and explores a series of challenges raised by the clinical concept of delusion for theories which conceive autonomy as an agency rather than a status concept. The first challenge is to address the autonomy-impairing nature of delusions consistently with their role as grounds for full legal and ethical excuse, on the one hand, and psychopathological significance as key symptoms of psychoses, on the other. The second challenge is to take into account the full logical range of delusions, (...) which may take the form of true or false factual beliefs, positive or negative evaluations, as well as the paradoxical delusion of mental illness. The third and final challenge is to make room for non-pathological or, autonomy-preserving delusions and to offer a credible way of distinguishing between these and pathological or, autonomy-impairing delusions. By setting out these challenges, we are able to, firstly, distinguish between two separate conceptions of objectivity that may be at work in existing accounts of delusions and, secondly, to put a spotlight on an elusive yet inescapable notion of agential success that underlies our thinking about autonomy as well as mental disorder. (shrink)
In this Introduction, I situate the underlying project “Autonomy and Mental Disorder” with reference to current debates on autonomy in moral and political philosophy, and the philosophy of action. I then offer an overview of the individual contributions. More specifically, I begin by identifying three points of convergence in the debates at issue, stating that autonomy is: 1) a fundamentally liberal concept; 2) an agency concept and; 3) incompatible with (severe) mental disorder. Next, I explore, in the context of decisional (...) capacity assessments, the difficulties to reconcile 1) and 2) with 3) which they at the same time seem to imply. Having clarified the centrality of a cogent notion of mental disorder for addressing these difficulties, I comment on three promising lines of inquiry about the nature and scope of autonomy that emerge from the following chapters. (shrink)
In this chapter, I articulate the structure of a general concept of autonomy and then reply to possible objections with reference to Ulysses arrangements in psychiatry. The line of argument is as follows. Firstly, I examine three alternative conceptions of autonomy: value-neutral, value-laden, and relational. Secondly, I identify two paradigm cases of autonomy and offer a sketch of its concept as opposed to the closely related freedom of action and intentional agency. Finally, I explain away the autonomy paradox, to which (...) the previously identified pair of paradigm cases seems to give rise in the context of mental disorder. By addressing this paradox, we learn two valuable lessons. The first is about the relationships between the three conceptions of autonomy above. The second is about the relationship between autonomy and mental disorder. (shrink)
This paper explores the claim that someone can reasonably consider themselves to be under a duty to respect the autonomy of a person who does not have the capacities normally associated with substantial self-governance.
If the incompatibilist is right, determinism annuls free will, but not necessarily autonomy. The possibly deterministic origin of values and beliefs that are objectively grounded does not undermine the autonomy of agents who maintain these for the right reasons. Nonobjective perspectives—preferences about lifestyle, profession, choice of mate— cannot anyway be entirely removed even for an unlimited being. Moreover, if one were lucky to have inherited contingencies that mesh perfectly with the world one happened to inhabit even if it is deterministic, (...) one would have the capacity for perfect autonomy. The extreme incompatibilist position that autonomy requires creation of self ex nihilo is incoherent. (shrink)
Weak emergence has been offered as an explication of the ubiquitous notion of emergence used in complexity science (Bedau 1997). After outlining the problem of emergence and comparing weak emergence with the two other main objectivist approaches to emergence, this paper explains a version of weak emergence and illustrates it with cellular automata. Then it explains the sort of downward causation and explanatory autonomy involved in weak emergence.
Kant’s ethics conceives of rational beings as autonomous–capable of legislating the moral law, and of motivating themselves to act out of respect for that law. Kant’s ethics also includes a notion of the highest good, the union of virtue with happiness proportional to, and consequent on, virtue. According to Kant, morality sets forth the highest good as an object of the totality of all things good as ends. Much about Kant’s conception of the highest good is controversial. This paper focuses (...) on the apparent conflict between Kant’s claim that we are autonomous, and passages in which he seems to suggest that we require belief in the possibility of the highest good to motivate moral action. I distinguish three distinct versions of these problematic claims that seem to be present in Kant’s texts: that the highest good serves as (1) a motivational supplement to respect for the moral law, (2) a fundamental spring of right action, and (3) a condition of the bindingness of moral requirements. I argue that the texts are better interpreted to yield alternatives to (2) and (3) that do not conflict with our autonomy. I also argue that, properly understood, (1) does not conflict with our autonomy. In arguing for the last claim, I explore Kant’s notion of radical evil and its implications for human agency and virtue. (shrink)
From the outset, critical social theory has sought to diagnose people’s participation in their own oppression, by revealing the roots of irrational and self-undermining choices in the complex interplay between human nature, social structures, and cultural beliefs. As part of this project, Ideologiekritik has aimed to expose faulty conceptions of this interplay, so that the objectively pathological character of what people are “freely” choosing could come more clearly into view. The challenge, however, has always been to find a way of (...) doing this without arrogantly assuming special access to what is good for people. And this danger of paternalism is one to which social theorists have all too often fallen prey. In this brief essay, I focus on contemporary instances of clearly self-defeating behavior in contexts of complex choices. I begin by discussing a recent attempt to diagnose and solve these failures of choices, namely the public policy recommendations of behavioral economist Richard Thaler and reform-minded legal theorist Cass Sunstein. Their influential “libertarian paternalist” approach is particularly interesting, both in what it includes (attention to the socially constructed nature of choice situations and the roots of the problems in human nature) and in what it leaves out (an understanding of the social construction of human nature and an adequate appreciation of the value of autonomy). After discussing it, I consider a broadly perfectionist alternative, to the effect that the problem lies in a failure to adequately appreciate the importance of developing autonomy. I then turn to sketching the outlines of a new approach, based on the concept of “autonomy gaps,” which approaches overly demanding policies in relational and action-theoretical terms. In the final section, I show how this provides the basis for an analysis both in terms of a critique of ideology and of social pathology. (shrink)
This collection of original essays explores the social and relational dimensions of individual autonomy. Rejecting the feminist charge that autonomy is inherently masculinist, the contributors draw on feminist critiques of autonomy to challenge and enrich contemporary philosophical debates about agency, identity, and moral responsibility. The essays analyze the complex ways in which oppression can impair an agent's capacity for autonomy, and investigate connections, neglected by standard accounts, between autonomy and other aspects of the agent, including self-conception, self-worth, memory, and the (...) imagination. (shrink)
Socialization enforces gendered standards of politeness that encourage men to be dominating and women to be deferential in mixed-gender discourse. This gendered dynamic of politeness places women in a double bind. If women are to participate in polite discourse with men, and thus to avail of smooth and fortuitous social interaction, women demote themselves to a lower social ranking. If women wish to rise above such ranking, then they fail to be polite and hence, open themselves to a wellspring of (...) social discord, dissention, and antagonism. The possibility for women’s politeness in mixed-gender conversation threatens more than cooperation, it undermines the possibility for self-respect and autonomy. (shrink)
This important new book develops a new concept of autonomy. The notion of autonomy has emerged as central to contemporary moral and political philosophy, particularly in the area of applied ethics. Professor Dworkin examines the nature and value of autonomy and used the concept to analyze various practical moral issues such as proxy consent in the medical context, paternalism, and entrapment by law enforcement officials.
Jeremy Waldron has recently raised the question of whether there is anything approximating the creative self-authorship of personal autonomy in the writings of Immanuel Kant. After considering the possibility that Kantian prudential reasoning might serve as a conception of personal autonomy, I argue that the elements of a more suitable conception can be found in Kant’s Tugendlehre or Doctrine of Virtue--specifically, in the imperfect duties of self-perfection and the practical love of others. This discovery is important for at least three (...) reasons: first, it elucidates the relationship among the various conceptions of autonomy employed by personal-autonomy theorists and contemporary Kantians; second, it brings to the surface previously unnoticed or undernoticed features of Kant's moral theory; and third, it provides an essential line of defense against certain critiques of contemporary Kantian theories, especially that of John Rawls. (shrink)
Although I agree with Sabine Muller’s conclusion that we should first seek to find alternatives to amputation for patients suffering from Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), I disagree with one of the major premises that she uses to argue for her claim. Muller argues that patients with BIID are likely not autonomous when they request that the limb be amputated. Muller’s argument that BIID suffers are not autonomous is flawed because she conflates philosophical conceptions of autonomy with the conception of (...) autonomy that is operative in the context of medicine. (shrink)
Three main claims are made in this paper. First, it is argued that Onora O’Neill has uncovered a serious problem in the way medical ethicists have thought about both respect for autonomy and informed consent. Medical ethicists have tended to think that autonomous choices are intrinsically worthy of respect, and that informed consent procedures are the best way to respect the autonomous choices of individuals. However, O’Neill convincingly argues that we should abandon both these thoughts. Second, it is argued that (...) O’Neill’s proposed solution to this problem is inadequate. O’Neill’s approach requires that a more modest view of the purpose of informed consent procedures be adopted. In her view, the purpose of informed consent procedures is simply to avoid deception and coercion, and the ethical justification for informed consent derives from a different ethical principle, which she calls principled autonomy. It is argued that contrary to what O’Neill claims, the wrongness of coercion cannot be derived from principled autonomy, and so its credentials as a justification for informed consent procedures is weak. Third, it is argued that we do better to rethink autonomy and informed consent in terms of respecting persons as ends in themselves, and a characteristically liberal commitment to allowing individuals to make certain categories of decisions for themselves. -/- Respect for autonomy is in trouble. In recent work in this journal1 and elsewhere,2 O’Neill has forcefully argued that respect for autonomy, as it has come to be used in medical ethics, is philosophically indefensible. If her arguments are sound, then, contrary to the standard view, respect for autonomy cannot be the source of the ethical requirement to seek informed consent before treating a patient or enrolling a participant in a trial. So her critique goes to the heart of contemporary medical ethics: if O’Neill is right, medical ethicists have systematically misunderstood two of the most fundamental concepts they deal with—respect for autonomy and informed consent. -/- This paper has four sections. Section 1 distinguishes between three different ways of talking about respect for autonomy, and looks in more detail at the one that has come to be central to bioethical writing on informed consent—namely, the idea that we should respect autonomous choices. Section 2 argues, following O’Neill, that it is implausible to think that the purpose of informed consent requirements is to respect autonomous choices. Section 3 argues that O’Neill’s proposed reworking of autonomy and informed consent is inadequate. O’Neill’s approach requires us to adopt a more modest view of the purpose of informed consent procedures. In her view, the purpose of informed consent procedures is simply to avoid deception and coercion, and the ethical justification for informed consent derives from a different ethical principle, which she calls principled autonomy. I argue that contrary to what O’Neill claims, we cannot derive the wrongness of coercion from principled autonomy, and so its credentials as a justification for informed consent procedures is weak. Section 4 argues that we do better to rethink autonomy and informed consent in terms of respecting persons as ends in themselves, and a characteristically liberal commitment to allowing individuals to make certain categories of decisions for themselves. (shrink)
From Hippocrates to paternalism to autonomy : the new hegemony -- From autonomy to consent -- Consent, autonomy, and the law -- Autonomy at the end of life -- Autonomy and pregnancy -- Autonomy and genetic information -- Autonomy and organ transplantation -- Autonomy, consent, and the law.
In recent years the concepts of individual autonomy and political liberalism have been the subjects of intense debate, but these discussions have occurred largely within separate academic disciplines. Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism contains for the first time new essays devoted to foundational questions regarding both the notion of the autonomous self and the nature and justification of liberalism. Written by leading figures in moral, legal and political theory, the volume covers inter alia the following topics: the nature of (...) the self and its relation to autonomy, the social dimensions of autonomy and the political dynamics of respect and recognition, and the concept of autonomy underlying the principles of liberalism. (shrink)
Why has autonomy been a leading idea in philosophical writing on bioethics, and why has trust been marginal? In this important book, Onora O'Neill suggests that the conceptions of individual autonomy so widely relied on in bioethics are philosophically and ethically inadequate, and that they undermine rather than support relations of trust. She shows how Kant's non-individualistic view of autonomy provides a stronger basis for an approach to medicine, science and biotechnology, and does not marginalize untrustworthiness, while also explaining why (...) trustworthy individuals and institutions are often undeservingly mistrusted. Her arguments are illustrated with issues raised by practices such as the use of genetic information by the police or insurers, research using human tissues, uses of new reproductive technologies, and media practices for reporting on medicine, science and technology. Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics will appeal to a wide range of readers in ethics, bioethics and related disciplines. (shrink)
My central thesis is that philosophers considering questions of epistemic value ought to devote greater attention to the enduring nature of beliefs. I begin by arguing that a commonly drawn analogy between beliefs and actions is flawed in important respects, and that a better, more fruitful analogue for belief would be desire, or a similarly enduring state of an agent. With this in hand, I argue that treating beliefs as enduring, constitutive states of agents allows us to capture the importance (...) of accessible, justified, and true beliefs to sustaining personal identity, autonomy, self-control, and authenticity. We thus arrive at a significant value to such beliefs through their crucial role in our personal, practical identities. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine two versions of the so-called “hierarchical” approach to personal autonomy, based on the notion of “second-order desires”. My primary concern will be with the question of whether these approaches provide an adequate basis for understanding the dynamics of autonomy-ascription. I begin by distinguishing two versions of the hierarchical approach, each representing a different response to the oft-discussed “regress” objection. I then argue that both “structural hierarchicalism” (e.g., Frankfurt, Bratman) and “procedural hierarchicalism” (e.g., Dworkin, Christman, Mele) (...) have difficulties accommodating the dynamics of how the attribution of autonomy to persons is claimed, disputed, and resolved. Although they differ in details, both shortcomings can be traced to viewing autonomy as a metaphysical rather than a normative, practical matter. I conclude by suggesting that these difficulties underscore the advantages of a more constructivist and pragmatist. (shrink)
Abstract This paper examines a convergence between Heidegger's reconceptualization of subjectivity and intersubjectivity and some recent work in feminist philosophy on relational autonomy. Both view the concept of autonomy to be misguided, given that our capacity to be self-directed is dependent upon our ability to enter into and sustain meaningful relationships. Both attempt to overturn the notion of a subject as an isolated, atomistic individual and to show that selfhood requires, and is based upon, one's relation to and dependence upon (...) others. The paper argues that Heidegger's notion of authentic Mitsein (being-with) rejects traditional notions of autonomy and subjectivity in favor of a relational model of selfhood. Ultimately, it provides a new point of entry into contemporary debates within feminist philosophy on Heidegger's thinking and defends Heidegger from certain feminist critiques. (shrink)
I once heard a colleague opine that we would be better off if there were a 50-year moratorium on philosophers using the word 'autonomy'. He went on to argue that we could get along just fine without the word, and that a good number of confusions would be dispelled along the way. This collection of new papers goes a long way toward responding to this challenge in ways that both undercut and vindicate aspects of this complaint.
It is both an ideal and an assumption of traditional conceptions of justice for liberal democracies that citizens are autonomous, self-governing persons. Yet standard accounts of the self and of self-government at work in such theories are hotly disputed and often roundly criticized in most of their guises. John Christman offers a sustained critical analysis of both the idea of the 'self' and of autonomy as these ideas function in political theory, offering interpretations of these ideas which avoid such disputes (...) and withstand such criticisms. Christman's model of individual autonomy takes into account the socially constructed nature of persons and their complex cultural and social identities, and he shows how this model can provide a foundation for principles of justice for complex democracies marked by radical difference among citizens. His book will interest a wide range of readers in philosophy, politics, and the social sciences. (shrink)
This book addresses two related topics: self-control and individual autonomy. In approaching these issues, Mele develops a conception of an ideally self-controlled person, and argues that even such a person can fall short of personal autonomy. He then examines what needs to be added to such a person to yield an autonomous agent and develops two overlapping answers: one for compatibilist believers in human autonomy and one for incompatibilists. While remaining neutral between those who hold that autonomy is compatible with (...) determinism and those who deny this, Mele shows that belief that there are autonomous agents is better grounded than belief that there are not. (shrink)
Concepts We thank all three commentators for extremely constructive, insightful, and gracious commentaries. We cannot address all their valuable points. In this response, we elucidate and relate the concepts of addiction, disease, disability, autonomy, and well-being. We examine some of the implications of these relationships in the context of the helpful responses made by our commentators. We begin with the definitions of the relevant concepts which we employ: ¥? ? ? Addiction (Liberal Concept): An addiction is a strong appetite. ¥? (...) ? ? Appetites: An appetite is a disposition that generates desires that are urgent, oriented toward some rewarding behavior, periodically recurring, often in predictable circumstances, sated temporarily by their fulfillment, and generally provide pleasure. ¥? ? ? Disease (Naturalistic Concept): A disease is some biological or psychological state that results in subfunctioning of the organism in a given set of environmental and social circumstances, C. The reference class is a natural class of organisms of uniform functional design; specifically, an age group of a sex of a species. A normal function is a part or process within members of the reference class and is a statistically typical contribution by it to their individual survival and reproduction (Boorse 1977, 1997). ¥? ? ? Disability (Welfarist Concept): A disability is a relatively stable biological or psychological state that tends to reduce the amount of well-being that this person will enjoy in a given set of environmental and social circumstances (Savulescu and Kahane 2009; Kahane and Savulescu, 2009). ¥? ? ? Autonomy (Rationalist Concept): A person rationally desires or values some state of affairs if and only if he or she desires that state of affairs while (1) being in possession of all relevant. (shrink)
Communitarians like Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor, and Michael Sandel, defend what we may call the ‘social constitution thesis.’ This is the view that participation in society makes us what we are. This claim, however, is ambiguous. In an attempt to shed some light on it and to better understand the impact its truth would have on our beliefs regarding autonomy, I offer four possible ways it could be understood and four corresponding senses of individual independence and autonomy. I also indicate (...) what senses liberals can accept that we are socially constituted and in what sense I take communitarians to argue we are socially constituted. (shrink)
The majority of current attention on the question of autonomy has focused on the internal reflection of the agent. The quality of an agent’s reflection on her potential action (or motivating desire or value) is taken to determine whether or not that action is autonomous. In this paper, I argue that there is something missing in most of these contemporary accounts of autonomy. By focusing overwhelmingly on the way in which the agent reflects, such accounts overlook the importance of what (...) the agent is reflecting upon. Whichever of these current formulations of autonomy we accept, reflection could be undertaken in full accordance with the conditions set, and yet the action fail to be autonomous. This will occur, I argue, if the agent is mistaken about the object of her reflection. More precisely, if she has a particular kind of false belief about the action she is contemplating undertaking, then no amount of reflection can render that action autonomous. This suggests the need for externalist conditions to be incorporated into an account of autonomy. (shrink)
Women have historically been prevented from living autonomously by systematic injustice, subordination, and oppression. The lingering effects of these practices have prompted many feminists to view autonomy with suspicion. Here, Marilyn Friedman defends the ideal of feminist autonomy. In her eyes, behavior is autonomous if it accords with the wants, cares, values, or commitments that the actor has reaffirmed and is able to sustain in the face of opposition. By her account, autonomy is socially grounded yet also individualizing and sometimes (...) socially disruptive, qualities that can be ultimately advantageous for women. Friedman applies the concept of autonomy to domains of special interest to women. She defends the importance of autonomy in romantic love, considers how social institutions should respond to women who choose to remain in abusive relationships, and argues that liberal societies should tolerate minority cultural practices that violate women's rights so long as the women in question have chosen autonomously to live according to those practices. (shrink)
The concepts of autonomy and of critical thinking play a central role in many contemporary accounts of the aims of education. This book analyses their relationship to each other and to education, exploring their roles in mortality and politics before examining the role of critical thinking in fulfilling the educational aim of preparing young people for autonomy. The author analyses different senses of the terms 'autonomy' and 'critical thinking' and the implications for education. Implications of the discussion for contemporary practice (...) are also considered. (shrink)
Despite receiving considerable philosophical attention, the concept of autonomy remains contested. In this paper, we diagnose one source of the continuing problem—an excessive emphasis on reflective self-appraisal in the dominant procedural models of autonomy—and suggest a solution. We argue that minimalist conceptions of rational self-appraisal are subject to fatal counterexamples. Yet, attempts to provide a more robust account of rational self-appraisal are too demanding to capture our intuitions about who counts as an autonomous agent. We argue that no procedure of (...) rational reflection will confer autonomy; rather autonomy is a matter of an agent’s actions flowing from her substantive commitments. Instead of rational self-reflection, autonomous actions are the product of the motive of care, which anchors an agent’s occurent desires to her system of value. (shrink)
Andrews Reath presents a selection of his best essays on various features of Kant's moral psychology and moral theory, with particular emphasis on his conception of rational agency and his conception of autonomy. Together the essays articulate Reath's original approach to Kant's views about human autonomy, which explains Kant's belief that objective moral requirements are based on principles we choose for ourselves. With two new papers, and revised versions of several others, the volume will be of great interest to all (...) students and scholars of Kant and of moral philosophy. (shrink)
Kantian autonomy is often thought to be independent of time and place, but J. B. Schneewind in his landmark study, The Invention of Autonomy, has shown that there is much to be learned by setting Kant's moral philosophy in the context of the history of modern moral philosophy. The distinguished authors in the collection continue Schneewind's project by relating Kant's work to the historical context of his predecessors and to the empirical context of human agency. This will be a valuable (...) resource for professionals and advanced students in philosophy, the history of ideas, and the history of political thought. (shrink)
In this paper, I try to show that externalist compatibilism in the debate on personal autonomy and manipulated freedom is as yet untenable. I will argue that Alfred R. Mele’s paradigmatic, history-sensitive externalism about psychological autonomy in general and autonomous deliberation in particular faces an insurmountable problem: it cannot satisfy the crucial condition of adequacy “H” for externalist theories that I formulate in the text. Specifically, I will argue that, contrary to first appearances, externalist compatibilism does not resolve the CNC (...) manipulation problem. After briefly reflecting on the present status of responses to the manipulation problem in the debate between compatibilists and incompatibilists of various stripes, I will draw the over-all pessimistic conclusion that no party deals with this problem satisfactorily. (shrink)
This paper examines the notion that psychology is autonomous. It is argued that we need to distinguish between (a) the question of whether psychological explanations are autonomous, and (b) the question of whether the process of psychological discovery is autonomous. The issue is approached by providing a reinterpretation of Robert Cummins's notion of functional analysis (FA). A distinction is drawn between FA as an explanatory strategy and FA as an investigative strategy. It is argued that the identification of functional components (...) of the cognitive system may draw on knowledge about brain structure, without thereby jeopardizing the explanatory autonomy of psychology. (shrink)
Popular Frankfurt-style theories of autonomy hold that (i) autonomy is motivation in action by psychological attitudes that have ‘authority’ to constitute the agent's perspective, and (ii) attitudes have this authority in virtue of their formal role in the individual's psychological system, rather than their substantive content. I pose a challenge to such ‘psychologistic’ views, taking Frankfurt's and Bratman's theories as my targets. I argue that motivation by attitudes that play the roles picked out by psychologistic theories is compatible with radically (...) unintelligible behavior. Because of this, psychologistic views are committed to classifying certain agents as ‘autonomous’ whom we intuitively find to be dysfunctional. I then argue that a necessary condition for autonomy is that an agent's behavior is intelligible in a particular way: autonomy necessarily involves acting from a subjective practical perspective that is, in principle, minimally comprehensible to others – not simply in a causal sense, but in a substantive, socio-cultural sense. (shrink)
The realities and myths of long-term care and the challenges it poses for the ethics of autonomy are analyzed in this perceptive work. The book defends the concept of autonomy, but argues that the standard view of autonomy as non-interference and independence has only a limited applicability for long term care. The treatment of actual autonomy stresses the developmental and social nature of human persons and the priority of identification over autonomous choice. The work balances analysis of the ethical concepts (...) associated with autonomy with discussion of the implications of the ethical analysis for long term care. A central chapter involves a phenomenological analysis of four general features of everyday experience (space, time, communication, and affectivity) and explores their practical implications for long term care. This work concludes with a discussion of the advantages associated with a phenomenologically-inspired treatment of actual autonomy for the ethics of long-term care. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that society should make available reliable information about parenting to everybody from an early age. The reason why parental education is important (when offered in a comprehensive and systematic way) is that it can help young people understand better the responsibilities associated with reproduction, and the skills required for parenting. This would allow them to make more informed life-choices about reproduction and parenting, and exercise their autonomy with respect to these choices. We do not believe (...) that parental education would constitute a limitation of individual freedom. Rather, the acquisition of relevant information about reproduction and parenting and the acquisition of self-knowledge with respect to reproductive and parenting choices can help give shape to individual life plans. We make a case for compulsory parental education on the basis of the need to respect and enhance individual reproductive and parental autonomy within a culture that presents contradictory attitudes towards reproduction and where decisions about whether to become a parent are subject to significant pressure and scrutiny. (shrink)
Contrary to what we might initially think, domestic violence is not simply a violation of respect. This characterization of domestic violence misses two key points. First, the issue of respect in connection with domestic violence is not as straightforward as it appears. Second, domestic violence is also a violation of care. These key points explain how domestic violence negatively affects a victim’s autonomy and agency—the ability to choose and pursue her own goals and life plan.We have a moral responsibility to (...) respond to the problem of domestic violence as individuals. But the state also has a responsibility to respond. According to Kant in the Doctrine of Right, one of the purposes of the state is to secure just treatment for everyone. I argue that this includes an obligation to put in place policies and services that will promote the autonomy and agency of victims of domestic violence. (shrink)
My aim is to show that the development of self-defense skills functions as a means of overcoming bodily encoded limits to autonomy. Through this discussion, I hope to broaden our understanding of the embodied nature of autonomy by illuminating the connection between bodily training and responses such as self-confidence, self-trust, and self-esteem. My paper aims toward these goals in two steps. First, it shows that self-defense training is valuable for women because it provides a security that one can avoid or (...) counter personal violence directed toward oneself. Second, I develop an account of self-defense training as a source of self-confidence. For women living within a social network working to undermine their self-trust and self- esteem, it is important to cultivate self-confidence, particularly since elements of that network involve threatening displays of aggression or superiority. Self- defense training in my account is not simply a route to recovery in the wake of personal violence. Instead, and primarily, it is the development of skills aimed at preventing personal violence. (shrink)
In this paper, I address two related challenges the phenomenon of depression raises for conceptions according to which autonomy is an agency concept and an independent source of justification. The first challenge is directed at the claim that autonomous agency involves intending under the guise of the good: the robust though not always direct link between evaluation and motivation implied here seems to be severed in some instances of depression; yet, this does not seem to affect the possibility of autonomous (...) action. The second challenge targets the feasibility of a reliable distinction between autonomous and non-autonomous choices in the context of depression: value-neutral and value-laden ways of drawing the distinction seem both open to decisive objections. I develop an account of paradoxical identification which supports a revised value-neutral distinction between autonomous and non-autonomous choices in the context of depression (my response to challenge 2), and shows that depression is inconsistent with autonomy to the extent that it involves an agent’s (paradoxical) identification with projects she implicitly loathes, that is, to the extent that depression thwarts intending under the guise of the good (my response to challenge 1). (shrink)
Carazan's dream : Kant's early theory of freedom -- Kant's archimedean moment : remarks in observation concerning the feeling of the beautiful and the sublime -- Rousseau, Count Verri, and the true economy of human nature : lectures on anthropology, 1772-1781 -- The paradox of autonomy -- Moral hesitation in religion within the boundaries of bare reason -- Kant's true politics : Völkerrecht in toward perpetual peace and the metaphysics of morals -- Kant as educator : conflict of the faculties, (...) part one -- Archimedes revisited : honor and history in the conflict of the faculties, part two -- Kant's Jewish problem. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
The power of new medical technologies, the cultural authority of physicians, and the gendered power dynamics of many patient-physician relationships can all inhibit women's reproductive freedom. Often these factors interfere with women's ability to trust themselves to choose and act in ways that are consistent with their own goals and values. In this book Carolyn McLeod introduces to the reproductive ethics literature the idea that in reproductive health care women's self-trust can be undermined in ways that threaten their autonomy. Understanding (...) the importance of self-trust for autonomy, McLeod argues, is crucial to understanding the limits on women's reproductive freedom. -/- McLeod brings feminist insights in philosophical moral psychology to reproductive ethics, and to health-care ethics more broadly. She identifies the social environments in which self-trust is formed and encouraged. She also shows how women's experiences of reproductive health care can enrich our understanding of self-trust and autonomy as philosophical concepts. The book's theoretical components are grounded in women's concrete experiences. The cases discussed, which involve miscarriage, infertility treatment, and prenatal diagnosis, show that what many women feel toward themselves in reproductive contexts is analogous to what we feel toward others when we trust or distrust them. -/- McLeod also discusses what health-care providers can do to minimize the barriers to women's self-trust in reproductive health care, and why they have a duty to do so as part of their larger duty to respect patient autonomy. (shrink)
It is often thought that the computational paradigm provides a supporting case for the theoretical autonomy of the science of mind. However, I argue that computation is in fact incompatible with this alleged aspect of intentional explanation, and hence the foundational assumptions of orthodox cognitive science are mutually unstable. The most plausible way to relieve these foundational tensions is to relinquish the idea that the psychological level enjoys some special form of theoretical sovereignty. So, in contrast to well known antireductionist (...) views based on multiple realizability, I argue that the primary goal of a computational approach to the mind should be to facilitate a translation of the psychological to the neurophysiological. (shrink)
The author maintains that the liberal argument advanced by Dworkin et al. implies a more general moral right, one that is not restricted to people in their terminal phase. The author then discusses Velleman's claim that this argument is subject to the following incoherence: invoking the idea that death is a benefit for a person implies that the person in question is endowed with a value that death would destroy. The author shows that the apparent plausibility of this counterargument is (...) due to a confusion between different evaluative concepts. (shrink)
There is widespread agreement that it would be both morally and legally wrong to treat a competent patient, or to carry out research with a competent participant, without the voluntary consent of that patient or research participant. Furthermore, in medical ethics it is generally taken that that consent must be informed. The most widely given reason for this has been that informed consent is needed to respect the patient's or research participant's autonomy. In this article I set out to challenge (...) this claim by considering in detail each of the three most prominent ways in which ‘autonomy’ has been conceptualized in the medical ethics literature. I will argue that whilst these accounts support the claim that consent is needed if the treatment of competent patients, or research on competent individuals, is to respect their autonomy, they do not support the claim that informed consent is needed for this purpose. (shrink)
The basic relationship between people should be care, and the caring life is the highest which humans can live. Unfortunately, care that is not thoughtful slides into illegitimate intrusion on autonomy. Autonomy is a basic good, and we should not abridge it without good reason. On the other hand, it is not the only good. We must sometimes intervene in the lives of others to protect them from grave harms or provide them with important benefits. The reflective person, therefore, needs (...) guidelines for caring. Some contemporary moralists condemn paternalism categorically. This work examines weaknesses in their arguments and proposes new guidelines for paternalism, which it calls "parentalism" to avoid the patriarchal connotations of the old term. Its antiparentalism is more moderate than standard antipaternalism based on an exaggerated respect for autonomy. The work explores implications for both the personal sphere of interactions between individuals, such as friends and family members, and the public sphere of institutions, legislation, and the professional practices. (shrink)
Self-creation and autonomy -- Creation, society and the imaginary -- Self and world -- The living body -- The human psyche -- The whole world and more : the meaning of the monadic psyche and its fate -- Magmas -- Determination and the logic of indeterminate being -- Indeterminacy and interpretation -- Autonomy and meaning.
Autonomy is a fundamental though contested concept both in philosophy and the broader intellectual culture of today’s liberal societies. For instance, most of us place great value on the opportunity to make our own decisions and to lead a life of our own choosing. Yet, there is stark disagreement on what is involved in being able to decide autonomously, as well as how important this is compared to other commitments. For example, the success of every group project requires that group (...) members make decisions about the project collectively rather than each on their own. This disagreement notwithstanding, mental disorder is routinely assumed to put a strain on autonomy; however, it is unclear whether this is effectively the case and, if so, whether this is due to the nature of mental disorder or the social stigma that often attaches to it. This book is the first exploration of the nature and value of autonomy with reference to mental disorder. By reflecting on instances of mental disorder where autonomy is apparently compromised, it offers a systematic discussion of the underlying presuppositions of the present autonomy debates in philosophy and psychiatry. In so doing, it helps address different kinds of emerging scepticism questioning either the appeal of autonomy as a concept or its relevance to specific areas of normative ethics, including psychiatric ethics. (shrink)
This paper discusses the proposal made by Lombardi and Labarca (Found Chem 7:125–148, 2005) that internal realism can secure the ontological autonomy of chemistry. I argue that internal realism is not, by itself, sufficient to accomplish this task. The fact that conceptual schemes may differ with respect to their theoretical virtues, and the possibility that the relations between them may be reductive undermine the premise that each conceptual scheme has an equal right to define its own ontology, which is a (...) key premise in Lombardi and Labarca’s proposal. (shrink)
Personal autonomy presupposes the notion of rationality. What is not so clear is whether, and how, a compromise of rationality to various degrees will diminish a person's autonomy. In bioethical literature, three major types of threat to the rationality of a patient's medical decision are identified: insufficient information, irrational beliefs/desires, and influence of different framing effects. To overcome the first problem, it is suggested that patients be provided with information about their diseases and treatment choices according to the objective standard. (...) I shall explain how this should be finessed. Regarding the negative impact of irrational beliefs/desires, some philosophers have argued that holding irrational beliefs can still be an expression of autonomy. I reject this argument because the degree of autonomy of a decision depends on the degree of rationality of the beliefs or desires on which the decision is based. Hence, to promote patient autonomy, we need to eliminate irrational beliefs by the provision of evidence and good arguments. Finally, I argue that the way to smooth out the framing effects is to present the same information in different perspectives: it is too often assumed that medical information can always be given in a complete and unadorned manner. This article concludes with a cautionary note that the protection of patient autonomy requires much more time and effort than the current practice usually allows. (shrink)
In recent papers, Lei Zhong argues that the autonomy solution to the causal exclusion problem is unavailable to anyone that endorses the counterfactual model of causation. The linchpin of his argument is that the counterfactual theory entails the downward causation principle, which conflicts with the autonomy solution. In this note I argue that the counterfactual theory does not entail the downward causation principle, so it is possible to advocate for the autonomy solution to the causal exclusion problem from within the (...) counterfactual theory of causation. (shrink)
Autonomy in Jewish Philosophy examines an important theme in Jewish thought from the Book of Genesis to the present day. Although it is customary to view Judaism as a legalistic faith leaving little room for free thought or individual expression, Kenneth Seeskin argues that this view is wrong. Where some see the essence of the religion as strict obedience to divine commands, Seeskin claims that God does not just command but forms a partnership with humans requiring the consent of both (...) parties. Looking at classic texts from Biblical, Rabbinic, and philosophical literature, Seeskin shows that Judaism has always respected freedom of conscience and assigned an important role to the power of human reason. The book considers both existing arguments and presents new ideas about the role of autonomy in Judaism. Clear and concise, it offers a refreshing alternative to the mysticism and dogmatism prevalent in much of the recent literature. (shrink)
This paper presents a relational account of autonomy showing that a technological imperative impedes autonomy through undermining women’s capacity to resist use of technology in the context of labor and birth. A technological imperative encourages dependence on technology for reassurance whenever possible through creating a (i) separation of maternal and fetal interests; and (ii) perceived need to use technology whenever possible. In response I offer an account of how women might promote autonomy through cultivating self-trust and self-confidence. Autonomy is not (...) simply a matter of choosing freely and acting on our choices, it is also a matter of possessing the ability to resist social contexts undermining choice and action. An important implication of this view is that respecting autonomy requires more than simply respecting persons’ ability to make and act on choices. Respecting patient autonomy requires a recognition of patients’ need to resist factors impeding autonomy and support for that resistance. (shrink)
This monograph develops an argument for the following view: In leading an autonomous life, persons make choices and adopt attitudes of a distinctive kind. To justify these choices and attitudes, they need to draw on knowledge about their biographies. More specifically, their biographies are a source of a distinctive type of practical reasons. These reasons are typically such that their adequate articulation will have a narrative structure. Along the way, the book develops what has been called "the best analysis of (...) the concept of narrativity currently on offer" (Journal of Literary Theory 2011). This monograph has received the Wolfgang Stegmüller award of the German Society for Analytic Philosophy (GAP) in 2009. (shrink)
In this paper, I develop a phenomenological description of lived autonomy and describe possible alterations of lived autonomy associated with chronic depression as they relate to specific psychopathological symptoms. I will distinguish between two types of lived autonomy, a pre-reflective type and a reflective type, which differ with respect to the explicitness of the action that is willed into existence; and I will relate these types to the classical distinction between freedom of intentional action and freedom of the will. I (...) will then describe how a chronically depressed person habitually discloses her experiential workspace with an impaired scope of perceivable action-properties, and pre-reflectively values many of these perceived action-properties as demanding or devalues these properties as well as her own abilities and drive to perform the respective actions (‘depressive habituality’). These alterations, typically experienced in a passive manner, imply an impairment of both types of lived autonomy. Drawing on first-hand accounts, I will then argue that small islands of lived autonomy, even of the reflective type, are possible if the afflicted identifies with at least some of her ‘depressive disabilities’ (i.e., her levelled amount of daily activities, her social retreat in certain periods). Lastly, I will compare this manner of life-conduct with the constellation of includence (Inkludenz), as described by Tellenbach, and discuss the limitations of this study. (shrink)
The concept of individual autonomy is one of the most frequently utilized--and perhaps least understood--terms of current moral, political, and legal debate. The first anthology devoted entirely to this philosophical concept, The Inner Citadel includes both extensive discussions of autonomy itself and theoretical applications of autonomy to various areas of philosophical inquiry. John Christman has assembled essays, many appearing in print for the first time, by such eminent philosophers as Gerald Dworkin, Joel Feinberg, Harry Frankfurt, and David A. J. Richards. (...) Together, these essays provide the necessary foundation for the myriad debates and controversies in areas such as bioethics, feminism, and paternalism whose resolution turns on the nature and value of individual autonomy. As the idea of autonomy is central to such a wide range of philosophical issues and impinges on other disciplines as well, The Inner Citadel will be essential for courses in moral, political, social, and legal philosophy, as well as a valuable resource for students of law, political science, and psychology. (shrink)
Newcomers and more experienced feminist theorists will welcome this even-handed survey of the care/justice debate within feminist ethics. Grace Clement clarifies the key terms, examines the arguments and assumptions of all sides to the debate, and explores the broader implications for both practical and applied ethics. Readers will appreciate her generous treatment of the feminine, feminist, and justice-based perspectives that have dominated the debate.Clement also goes well beyond description and criticism, advancing the discussion through the incorporation of a broad range (...) of insights into a new integration of the values of care and justice. Care, Autonomy, and Justice marks a major step forward in our understanding of feminist ethics. It is both direct and helpful enough to work as an introduction for students and insightful and original enough to make it necessary reading for scholars. (shrink)
If we want to be autonomous, what do we want? The author shows that contemporary value-neutral and metaphysically economical conceptions of autonomy, such as that of Harry Frankfurt, face a serious problem. Drawing on Plato, Augustine, and Kant, this book provides a sketch of how "ancient" and "modern" can be reconciled to solve it. But at what expense? It turns out that the dominant modern ideal of autonomy cannot do without a costly metaphysics if it is to be coherent.