An aristotelian account of autonomy

Journal of Value Inquiry 42 (1):41-53 (2008)
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The purpose of this article is to set out an Aristotelian account of individual autonomy. Individual autonomy is the capacity of the individual to make and act upon judgments for which he is held morally accountable. This sense of autonomy may be contrasted to a number of other senses. Of these, the most important are political or legal autonomy and Kantian principled autonomy. Political or legal autonomy concerns the environment in which an individual operates. It exists where individuals are able to operate reasonably freely.1 For the most part we will not consider this sense except insofar as it is necessary to explain the importance placed on respecting individual autonomy. Kantian principled autonomy has been described recently by Onora O‟Neill in a series of writings.2 On this account, autonomy is seen as a characteristic of the principle behind action rather than of action per se and is not a characteristic of agents at all.



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Peter Allmark
University of Leeds (PhD)

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References found in this work

The moral limits of the criminal law.Joel Feinberg - 1984 - New York,USA: Oxford University Press.
Mill Versus Paternalism.Richard J. Arneson - 1979 - Philosophy Research Archives 5:89-119.
Aristotle’s Function Argument.Jennifer Whiting - 1988 - Ancient Philosophy 8 (1):33-48.
Aristotle’s Function Argument.Jennifer Whiting - 1988 - Ancient Philosophy 8 (1):33-48.
Autonomy, Value, and Conditioned Desire.Robert Noggle - 1995 - American Philosophical Quarterly 32 (1):57 - 69.

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