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Summary In other sub-categories here, we see the importance of autonomy in ethical theory, applied ethics, and political philosophy.  Just what autonomy is and what makes it possible is hotly contested.  Moral psychologists have much to say on this score; the pieces included here contribute to that discussion.
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  1. Key Concepts: Autonomy.George J. Agich - 1994 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 1 (4):267-269.
  2. Agency, Consciousness, and Executive Control.Jesús H. Aguilar & Andrei A. Buckareff - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (1):21-30.
    On the Causal Theory of Action (CTA), internal proper parts of an agent such as desires and intentions are causally responsible for actions. CTA has increasingly come under attack for its alleged failure to account for agency. A recent version of this criticism due to François Schroeter proposes that CTA cannot provide an adequate account of either the executive control or the autonomous control involved in full-fledged agency. Schroeter offers as an alternative a revised understanding of the proper role of (...)
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  3. Behavioural Explanation in the Realm of Non-Mental Computing Agents.Bernardo Aguilera - 2015 - Minds and Machines 25 (1):37-56.
    Recently, many philosophers have been inclined to ascribe mentality to animals on the main grounds that they possess certain complex computational abilities. In this paper I contend that this view is misleading, since it wrongly assumes that those computational abilities demand a psychological explanation. On the contrary, they can be just characterised from a computational level of explanation, which picks up a domain of computation and information processing that is common to many computing systems but is autonomous from the domain (...)
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  4. Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals: A Commentary.E. Allison Henry - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Henry E. Allison presents a comprehensive commentary on Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals . Allison pays special attention to the structure of the work and its historical and intellectual context. He argues that, despite its relative brevity, the Groundwork is the single most important work in modern moral philosophy.
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  5. Accurate Self-Assessment, Autonomous Ignorance, and the Appreciation of Disability.Joel Anderson & Warren Lux - 2004 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 11 (4):309-312.
  6. Knowing Your Own Strength: Accurate Self-Assessment as a Requirement for Personal Autonomy.Joel Anderson & Warren Lux - 2004 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 11 (4):279-294.
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  7. Vol. 6, No.Kristin Andrews - unknown -
    The question of whether humans have free will, like the question of the meaning of life, is one whose answer depends on how the question itself is interpreted. In his recent book Neurophilosophy of Free Will: From Libertarian Illusions to a Concept of Natural Autonomy, Henrik Walter examines whether free will is possible in a deterministic natural world, and he concludes that the answer is "It depends" (xi). He rejects a libertarian account of free will as internally inconsistent, but argues (...)
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  8. Ape Autonomy? Social Norms and Moral Agency in Other Species.Kristin Andrews - unknown -
    Once upon a time, not too long ago, the question about apes and ethics had to do with moral standing—do apes have interests or rights that humans ought to respect? Given the fifty years of research on great ape cognition, life history, social organization, and behavior, the answer to that question seems obvious. Apes have emotions and projects, they can be harmed, and they have important social relationships.
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  9. Brains in the Flesh: Prospects for a Neurophenomenology.Bernard Andrieu, Charles Wolf & Brent Robbins - 2006 - Janus Head 9 (1).
    The relations between the neurosciences and phenomenology enable us today— thanks to the works of M. Merleau-Ponty, G. Simondon, F. Varela, A.R. Damasio and V.S. Ramachandran—to define the brain as a biosubjective organ: its constitution, its functioning, and its interactions prove that a description of individuation can fit in a cognitive neurophenomenology. In this framework, the mental state acquires a subjective autonomy even if it is an illusion in regard to the determining conditions of brain functioning.
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  10. Advance Planning and Proxy Decision Makers.George J. Annas - 1992 - Ethics and Behavior 2 (1):67 – 68.
  11. Reduction with Autonomy: Mental Causation, Reduction and Supervenience.Lm Antony & J. Levine - 1996 - Philosophical Perspectives 11:83-105.
  12. Reduction with Autonomy.Louise M. Antony & Joseph Levine - 1997 - Philosophical Perspectives 11 (s11):83-105.
  13. More Experiments in Ethics.Kwame Anthony Appiah - 2010 - Neuroethics 3 (3):233-242.
    This paper responds to the four critiques of my book Experiments in Ethics published in this issue. The main theme I take up is how we should understand the relation between psychology and philosophy. Young and Saxe believe that “bottom line” evaluative judgments don’t depend on facts. I argue for a different view, according to which our evaluative and non-evaluative judgments must cohere in a way that makes it rational, sometimes, to abandon even what looks like a basic evaluative judgment (...)
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  14. Applying Machine Consciousness Models in Autonomous Situated Agents.R. Arrabales & A. Sanchis - forthcoming - Pattern Recognition Letters.
  15. Autonomy, Reason, and Desire.Robert Audi - 1991 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):247-271.
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  16. 1 Autonomy as Spontaneous Self-Determination Versus Autonomy as Self—Relation.Nietzsche On Autonomy - 2013 - In Ken Gemes & John Richardson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Nietzsche. Oxford University Press.
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  17. Morality and the Emotions.Carla Bagnoli (ed.) - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Emotions shape our mental and social lives, but their relation to morality is problematic: are they sources of moral knowledge, or obstacles to morality? Fourteen original articles by leading scholars in moral psychology and philosophy of mind explore the relation between emotions and practical rationality, value, autonomy, and moral identity.
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  18. Morality and the Emotions.Carla Bagnoli (ed.) - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    What is their relation to practical rationality? Are they roots of our identity or threats to our autonomy? This volume is born out of the conviction that philosophy provides a distinctive approach to these problems.
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  19. The Mafioso Case: Autonomy and Self-Respect.Carla Bagnoli - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):477-493.
    This article argues that immoralists do not fully enjoy autonomous agency because they are not capable of engaging in the proper form of practical reflection, which requires relating to others as having equal standing. An adequate diagnosis of the immoralist’s failure of agential authority requires a relational account of reflexivity and autonomy. This account has the distinctive merit of identifying the cost of disregarding moral obligations and of showing how immoralists may become susceptible to practical reason. The compelling quality of (...)
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  20. Defining Agency: Individuality, Normativity, Asymmetry, and Spatio-Temporality in Action.Xabier Barandiaran, E. Di Paolo & M. Rohde - 2009 - Adaptive Behavior 17 (5):367-386.
    The concept of agency is of crucial importance in cognitive science and artificial intelligence, and it is often used as an intuitive and rather uncontroversial term, in contrast to more abstract and theoretically heavy-weighted terms like “intentionality”, “rationality” or “mind”. However, most of the available definitions of agency are either too loose or unspecific to allow for a progressive scientific program. They implicitly and unproblematically assume the features that characterize agents, thus obscuring the full potential and challenge of modeling agency. (...)
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  21. Language and Character.Robin Barrow - 2004 - Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 3 (3):267-279.
    Recent empirical research into the brain, while reinforcing the view that we are extensively ‘programmed’, does not refute the idea of a distinctive human mind. The human mind is primarily a product of the human capacity for a distinctive kind of language. Human language is thus what gives us our consciousness, reasoning capacity and autonomy. To study and understand the human, however, is ultimately a task beyond empirical disciplines such as psychology. Literature is the repository of wisdom relating to humanity (...)
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  22. Seductions of Fate: Tragic Subjectivity, Ethics, Politics.Gabriela Basterra - 2004 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    If the tragic interpretation of experience is still so current, despite its disastrous ethical consequences, it is because it shapes our subjectivity. Instead of contradicting the ideals of autonomy and freedom, a modern subjectivity based on self-victimization in effect enables them. By embracing subjection to an alienating other (the Law, Power) the autonomous subject protects its sameness from the disruption of real people. Seductions of Fate stages a dialogue between this tragic agent of political emancipation and the unconditional ethical demands (...)
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  23. Multiple Realizability, Constraints, and Identity.Mark Bauer - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):446-464.
    Shapiro has suggested that the empirical plausibility of the multiple realizability of human-like minds is dubious, because a contrary thesis, the Mental Constraint Thesis, enjoys positive empirical evidence. The Mental Constraint Thesis states that, given the actual physical laws, there is only one way to realize a human-like mind. I will suggest, however, that the Mental Constraint Thesis is not a contrary to the empirical multiple realizability thesis relevant to psychological reduction or autonomy and, as a consequence, has no bearing (...)
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  24. Reconsidering Relational Autonomy. Personal Autonomy for Socially Embedded and Temporally Extended Selves.Holger Baumann - 2008 - Analyse & Kritik 30 (2):445-468.
    Most recent accounts of personal autonomy acknowledge that the social environment a person lives in, and the personal relationships she entertains, have some impact on her autonomy. Two kinds of conceptualizing social conditions are traditionally distinguished in this regard: Causally relational accounts hold that certain relationships and social environments play a causal role for the development and ongoing exercise of autonomy. Constitutively relational accounts, by contrast, claim that autonomy is at least partly constituted by a person’s social environment or standing. (...)
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  25. Kant's Theory of Virtue: The Value of Autocracy.Anne Margaret Baxley - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
    Anne Margaret Baxley offers a systematic interpretation of Kant's theory of virtue, whose most distinctive features have not been properly understood. She explores the rich moral psychology in Kant's later and less widely read works on ethics, and argues that the key to understanding his account of virtue is the concept of autocracy, a form of moral self-government in which reason rules over sensibility. Although certain aspects of Kant's theory bear comparison to more familiar Aristotelian claims about virtue, Baxley contends (...)
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  26. Autonomy in Chimpanzees.Tom L. Beauchamp & Victoria Wobber - 2014 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (2):117-132.
    Literature on the mental capacities and cognitive mechanisms of the great apes has been silent about whether they can act autonomously. This paper provides a philosophical theory of autonomy supported by psychological studies of the cognitive mechanisms that underlie chimpanzee behavior to argue that chimpanzees can act autonomously even though their psychological mechanisms differ from those of humans. Chimpanzees satisfy the two basic conditions of autonomy: (1) liberty (the absence of controlling influences) and (2) agency (self-initiated intentional action), each of (...)
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  27. Mental Mechanisms, Autonomous Systems, and Moral Agency.William Bechtel & A. Abrahamsen - manuscript -
    Mechanistic explanations of cognitive activities are ubiquitous in cognitive science. Humanist critics often object that mechanistic accounts of the mind are incapable of accounting for the moral agency exhibited by humans. We counter this objection by offering a sketch of how the mechanistic perspective can accommodate moral agency. We ground our argument in the requirement that biological systems be active in order to maintain themselves in nonequilibrium conditions. We discuss such consequences as a role for mental mechanisms in controlling active (...)
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  28. Explaining Human Freedom and Dignity Mechanistically: From Receptive to Active Mechanisms.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32:43-66.
    Mechanistic explanation is the dominant approach to explanation in the life sciences, but it has been challenged as incompatible with a conception of humans as agents whose capacity for self-direction endows them with freedom and dignity. We argue that the mechanical philosophy, properly construed, has sufficient resources to explain how such characteristics can arise in a material world. Biological mechanisms must be regarded as active, not only reactive, and as organized so as to maintain themselves far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Notions (...)
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  29. Explaining Human Freedom and Dignity Mechanistically.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32:43-66.
    Mechanistic explanation is the dominant approach to explanation in the life sciences, but it has been challenged as incompatible with a conception of humans as agents whose capacity for self-direction endows them with freedom and dignity. We argue that the mechanical philosophy, properly construed, has sufficient resources to explain how such characteristics can arise in a material world. Biological mechanisms must be regarded as active, not only reactive, and as organized so as to maintain themselves far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Notions (...)
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  30. Practical Possibilities in American Moral Education.G. C. S. Benson & T. S. Engeman - 1974 - Journal of Moral Education 4 (1):53-59.
    Abstract: The authors analyse and compare two of the major moral education programmes in the United States, namely, Character Education Curriculum and the Values Clarification Programme. The latter is seen to be more egalitarian and to stress the development of autonomy and choice in the child. The former tends to follow the ?bag of virtues? approach to moral education and is more directly instructional in its methods. The strengths and weaknesses of these two programmes are compared and it is concluded (...)
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  31. What Sujet de la Folie ? Gladys Swain and Marcel Gauchet's Search for an Alternative History of Madness.Bettina Bergo - 2010 - Phaenex 5 (2):87-124.
    Inspired by three monographs of Gladys Swain and Marcel Gauchet, my presentation traces the rise of the new science of psychiatry in Revolutionary France, with Philippe Pinel and his student J.-E. Esquirol. As the directors of the division of the aliénés in the Hôpital Bicêtre (Paris), Pinel and Esquirol pioneered a therapeutic programme that spread out between their “traitement moral” (reasoning with the passions) and an “energetic repression,” wherever necessary. The discipline they created sought to gain autonomy from medicine treating (...)
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  32. Philosophy of Psychology: A Contemporary Introduction.Jose Luis Bermudez - 2005 - Routledge.
    José Luis Bermúdez introduces the philosophy of psychology as an interdisciplinary exploration of the nature and mechanisms of cognition. _Philosophy of Psychology_ charts out four influential 'pictures of the mind' and uses them to explore central topics in the philosophical foundations of psychology, including the relation between different levels of studying the mind/brain; the nature and scope of psychological explanation; the architecture of cognition; and the relation between thought and language. Chapters cover all the core concepts, including: models of psychological (...)
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  33. Personal and Subpersonal: A Difference Without a Distinction.Jose Luis Bermudez - 2000 - Philosophical Explorations 3 (1):63-82.
    This paper argues that, while there is a difference between personal and sub-personal explanation, claims of autonomy should be treated with scepticism. It distinguishes between horizontal and vertical explanatory relations that might hold between facts at the personal and facts at the sub-personal level. Noting that many philosophers are prepared to accept vertical explanatory relations between the two levels, I argue for the stronger claim that, in the case of at least three central personal level phenomena, the demands of explanatory (...)
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  34. Personal and Sub-Personal; a Difference Without a Distinction.José Luis Bermúdez - 2000 - Philosophical Explorations 3 (1):63 – 82.
    This paper argues that, while there is a difference between personal and sub-personal explanation, claims of autonomy should be treated with scepticism. It distinguishes between horizontal and vertical explanatory relations that might hold between facts at the personal and farts at the sub-personal level. Noting that many philosophers are prepared to accept vertical explanatory relations between the two levels, I argue for the stronger claim that, in the case of at least three central personal level phenomena, the demands of explanatory (...)
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  35. Information and Representation in Autonomous Agents.Mark H. Bickhard - 2000 - Cognitive Systems Research 1 (2):65-75.
    Information and representation are thought to be intimately related. Representation, in fact, is commonly considered to be a special kind of information. It must be a _special_ kind, because otherwise all of the myriad instances of informational relationships in the universe would be representational -- some restrictions must be placed on informational relationships in order to refine the vast set into those that are truly representational. I will argue that information in this general sense is important to genuine agents, but (...)
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  36. Motivation and Emotion: An Interactive Process Model.Mark H. Bickhard - 2000 - In Ralph D. Ellis & Natika Newton (eds.), The Caldron of Consciousness: Motivation, Affect and Self-Organization. John Benjamins. pp. 161.
    In this chapter, I outline dynamic models of motivation and emotion. These turn out not to be autonomous subsystems, but, instead, are deeply integrated in the basic interactive dynamic character of living systems. Motivation is a crucial aspect of particular kinds of interactive systems -- systems for which representation is a sister aspect. Emotion is a special kind of partially reflective interaction process, and yields its own emergent motivational aspects. In addition, the overall model accounts for some of the crucial (...)
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  37. Wellbeing, Schizophrenia and Experience Machines.David Rhys Birks - 2013 - Bioethics 27 (2):81-88.
    In the USA and England and Wales, involuntary treatment for mental illness is subject to the constraint that it must be necessary for the health or safety of the patient, if he poses no danger to others. I will argue against this necessary condition of administering treatment and propose that the category of individuals eligible for involuntary treatment should be extended. I begin by focusing on the common disorder of schizophrenia and proceed to demonstrate that it can be a considerable (...)
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  38. On Being Poor and Feeling Poor: Low Socioeconomic Status and the Moral Self.Erika Blacksher - 2002 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 23 (6):455-470.
    Persons of low socioeconomic status generallyexperience worse health and shorter lives thantheir better off counterparts. They alsosuffer a greater incidence of adversepsychosocial characteristics, such as lowself-esteem, self-efficacy, and self-masteryand increased cynicism and hostility. Thesepopulation data suggest another category ofharm to persons: diminished moral agency. Chronic socioeconomic deprivation can createenvironments that undermine the development ofself and capacities constitutive to moralagency – i.e., the capacity forself-determination and crafting a life of one''sown. The harm affects not only the choicesa person makes, but the (...)
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  39. Doing What the Patient Orders: Maintaining Integrity in the Doctor-Patient Relationship.Je Ffrey Blustein - 1993 - Bioethics 7 (4):289-314.
  40. Does Mental Disorder Involve Loss of Personal Autonomy?Derek Bolton & Natalie Banner - 2012 - In Lubomira Radoilska (ed.), Autonomy and Mental Disorder. Oxford University Press.
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  41. The Cognitive Neuroscience Revolution.Worth Boone & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2016 - Synthese 193 (5):1509-1534.
    We outline a framework of multilevel neurocognitive mechanisms that incorporates representation and computation. We argue that paradigmatic explanations in cognitive neuroscience fit this framework and thus that cognitive neuroscience constitutes a revolutionary break from traditional cognitive science. Whereas traditional cognitive scientific explanations were supposed to be distinct and autonomous from mechanistic explanations, neurocognitive explanations aim to be mechanistic through and through. Neurocognitive explanations aim to integrate computational and representational functions and structures across multiple levels of organization in order to explain (...)
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  42. So Who Am I Really? Personal Identity in the Age of the Internet.Albert Borgmann - 2013 - AI and Society 28 (1):15-20.
    The Internet has become a field of dragon teeth for a person’s identity. It has made it possible for your identity to be mistaken by a credit agency, spied on by the government, foolishly exposed by yourself, pilloried by an enemy, pounded by a bully, or stolen by a criminal. These harms to one’s integrity could be inflicted in the past, but information technology has multiplied and aggravated such injuries. They have not gone unnoticed and are widely bemoaned and discussed. (...)
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  43. Evolutionary Autonomous Agents and the Naturalization of Phenomenology.Donald S. Borrett, Saad Khan, Cynthia Lam, Danni Li, Hoa B. Nguyen & Hon C. Kwan - 2006 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 5 (3-4):351-363.
    The phenomenological goal of grounding the content of conceptual thought in the background understanding of everyday, skillful coping was approached using evolutionary autonomous agent methodology. The behavior of an EAA evolved to perform a specified motor task was identified with skillful coping. Changes in the dynamics of the EAA controller occurred when the EAA encountered an unexpected obstacle with loss of longer time scale components in its hierarchical temporal organization. These temporal changes are consistent with the phenomenological changes which we (...)
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  44. Deception in Psychology : Moral Costs and Benefits of Unsought Self-Knowledge.Lisa Bortolotti & Matteo Mameli - 2006 - Accountability in Research 13:259-275.
    Is it ethical to deceive the individuals who participate in psychological experiments for methodological reasons? We argue against an absolute ban on the use of deception in psychological research. The potential benefits of many psychological experiments involving deception consist in allowing individuals and society to gain morally significant self-knowledge that they could not otherwise gain. Research participants gain individual self-knowledge which can help them improve their autonomous decision-making. The community gains collective self-knowledge that, once shared, can play a role in (...)
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  45. Becoming Subjects: The Agency of Desire in Jacques Lacan's Return to Freud.William Francis Bracken - 1998 - Dissertation, Harvard University
    In this dissertation, I contest the common view that Jacques Lacan, in his interpretation of Freud, decisively repudiates the traditional humanistic ideals of individual autonomy and integrity. I argue that Lacan should instead be seen as laying the ground for a radical reconception of what individual autonomy and integrity come to for the human subject. In arguing for this claim, I also seek to demonstrate the relevance of Lacan's work to discussions in contemporary analytic moral philosophy about the relationship between (...)
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  46. The Challenge Posed by Autonomy in Medical Ethics.James Alan Branch - 2000 - Dissertation, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
    The subject of this dissertation is autonomy in medical ethics. The main thesis is that while there are some positive aspects to the principle of autonomy, the overall concept presents significant dangers for the future of medicine. The problems are found in the fact that modern principles of autonomy in medical ethics are moving towards a libertarianism that is dangerous because it produces a form of moral thinking that is incompatible to Scripture. ;In chapter one, I begin with a summary (...)
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  47. Kantian Lessons About Mind, Meaning, and Rationality.Robert Brandom - 2006 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 34 (1/2):1-20.
    Kant’s innovative normative characterization of what one is doing in judging is appealed to as the basis of a story about how he moves from an inferential to a representational characterization of the contents of judgment. His normative notion of freedom and his demarcation of the normative in terms of autonomy are connected to his account of the status of modal concepts.
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  48. Kantian Lessons About Mind, Meaning, and Rationality.Robert Brandom - 2005 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (Supplement):1-20.
    Kant’s innovative normative characterization of what one is doing in judging is appealed to as the basis of a story about how he moves from an inferential to a representational characterization of the contents of judgment. His normative notion of freedom and his demarcation of the normative in terms of autonomy are connected to his account of the status of modal concepts.
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  49. Adaptive Preferences and the Hellenistic Insight.Hugh Breakey - 2010 - Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics 12 (1):29-39.
    Adaptive preferences are preferences formed in response to circumstances and opportunities – paradigmatically, they occur when we scale back our desires so they accord with what is probable or at least possible. While few commentators are willing to wholly reject the normative significance of such preferences, adaptive preferences have nevertheless attracted substantial criticism in recent political theory. The groundbreaking analysis of Jon Elster charged that such preferences are not autonomous, and several other commentators have since followed Elster’s lead. On a (...)
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  50. Weighing the Ethical Considerations of Autonomy and Efficacy With Respect to Mandatory Warning Labels.C. D. Brewer & George N. Himes - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (3):14-15.
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