In Charlotte Witt (ed.), Feminist Metaphysics: Explorations in the Ontology of Sex, Gender and the Self. Springer. pp. 99--115 (2011)

Jules Holroyd
University of Sheffield
I here focus on two debates about the conditions for self-governance. In one, the metaphysical debate, theorists are concerned with the potential threat that causal determinism poses to self-governance. In another, the relational debate, theorists are concerned with the potential threat that certain social conditions—especially those that are oppressive to certain social groups—pose to self-governance. MacKenzie and Stoljar have suggested (2000) that the concerns of these two debates do not intersect. In this chapter, I draw out the connections between the two debates, arguing that certain views in the relational debate are in tension with certain commitments in the metaphysical debate. I look at a relational condition for autonomous agency from Paul Benson (1994), extrapolate from the cases discussed by Langton (1993) in the literature on speech acts some relational conditions for autonomous action, and examine the formulation of relational conditions for autonomous choice (Stoljar 2000). I argue that each of these views sits in tension with positions in the metaphysical debate (hard determinism, libertarianism, and (more broadly) incompatibilism, respectively). Thus the concerns of the two debates do intersect. Moreover, if these tensions cannot be resolved, then the relational debate brings to bear important considerations in assessing the plausibility of the views in the metaphysical debate.
Keywords Relational autonomy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,920
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Feminist Metaphysics.Sally Haslanger & Ásta Kristjana Sveinsdóttir - 2008;2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Informed Consent and Relational Conceptions of Autonomy.N. Stoljar - 2011 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (4):375-384.
Relational Autonomy: An Example From Breast Cancer Nursing.Mary Twomey - 2011 - Ethics and Social Welfare 5 (4):408-413.
Relational Complexes.Joop Leo - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (2):357-390.
Genetic Enhancement, Sports and Relational Autonomy.Susan Sherwin - 2007 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 1 (2):171 – 180.


Added to PP index

Total views
91 ( #115,019 of 2,439,284 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #209,304 of 2,439,284 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes