Rüdiger Bittner on Autonomy

Erkenntnis (S7):1-10 (2013)

Abstract
Rüdiger Bittner surveys with a skeptical eye classic and contemporary ideas of Kantian autonomy. He allows that we can be more or less free in a modest (quasi-Hobbesian) sense and that many people may want more of this freedom from impediments that make it difficult or impossible to do various things. He argues, however, that high-minded general affirmations of human freedom are unfounded and not likely to retain their grip on our thinking. While acknowledging the value of Bittner’s challenges, I raise questions about Bittner’s dismissal of ideas of freedom apparently imbedded in ordinary language and his critique of the idea of autonomy in Kant’s ethics and broadly Kantian theories. A key issue is how to make sense of the claim that a moral law can be a law and yet also self-imposed. Given certain background assumptions about Kant’s conception of autonomy of the will, the key claim requires different interpretations when it concerns the supreme moral law (the Categorical Imperative) and when it concerns more specific moral laws (for example, derivative principles in Kant’s Doctrine of Virtue). Bittner’s challenges are valuable because they require us to work out and articulate more carefully what we mean by autonomy and why it is important. As Bittner says, Kant’s idea of autonomy is not the same as the ideas of autonomy that appear in medicine, politics, and everyday life. Nevertheless, those who care about either have some reason to think about how these are connected.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10670-013-9556-y
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,626
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - Oxford University Press.
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Kant Immanuel - 1785 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Autonomy Modest.Rüdiger Bittner - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S7):1-11.
Autonomy, and Then.Rüdiger Bittner - 2002 - Philosophical Explorations 5 (3):217 – 228.
Doing Things for Reasons.Rüdiger Bittner - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Autonomy.Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred Dycus Miller & Jeffrey Paul (eds.) - 2003 - Cambridge University Press.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Origins of Autonomy.Frederick Neuhouser - 2011 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 54 (5):478 - 493.
The Idea of Freedom and Moral Cognition in Groundwork III.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):555-589.
How to Distinguish Autonomy From Integrity.Carolyn Mcleod - 2005 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (1):107 - 133.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-10-30

Total views
13 ( #547,847 of 2,325,929 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #708,999 of 2,325,929 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature