Relational autonomy and paternalistic interventions

Res Publica 15 (4):321-336 (2009)
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Relational conceptions of autonomy attempt to take into account the social aspects of autonomous agency. Those views that incorporate not merely causally, but constitutively necessary relational conditions, incorporate a condition that has the form: A necessary condition for autonomous agency is that the agent stands in social relations S. I argue that any account that incorporates such a condition cannot play one of autonomy’s key normative roles: identifying those agents who ought to be protected from paternalistic intervention. I argue, against objections from Oshana, that there are good reasons for maintaining the notion of autonomy in this role, and thus that such relational conceptions should not be accepted. This rejection goes beyond that from John Christman, which holds only for those relational conditions which are value-laden.



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Jules Holroyd
University of Sheffield

Citations of this work

Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy.Natalie Stoljar - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Relational Autonomy, Paternalism, and Maternalism.Laura Specker Sullivan & Fay Niker - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):649-667.
Levinas and 'Finite Freedom'.James H. P. Lewis & Simon Thornton - 2022 - In Joe Saunders (ed.), Freedom After Kant. London: Blackwell's.

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