Normative competence, autonomy, and oppression

Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 8 (1) (2022)
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Abstract

Natalie Stoljar posits that those who have internalized oppressive norms lack normative competence, which requires true beliefs and critical reflection. A lack of normative competence makes agents nonautonomous, according to Stoljar. This framework is thereby meant to address what she calls the “feminist intuition”—the intuition that oppressive norms are incompatible with autonomy. On my view, however, Stoljar’s normative competence account of autonomy is subject to a worrying problem. Her account misattributes nonautonomy to those who perpetrate the oppression, making those who are oppressed and those who oppress count as equally nonautonomous. I argue that this is implausible and demonstrate in this paper that we can establish an asymmetry of autonomy between those who oppress others and those who are made the target of oppression.

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Ji-Young Lee
University of Copenhagen

Citations of this work

Relational approaches to personal autonomy.Ji-Young Lee - 2023 - Philosophy Compass 18 (5):e12916.
Determination from Above.Kenneth Silver - 2023 - Philosophical Issues 33 (1):237-251.

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References found in this work

Ontic Injustice.Katharine Jenkins - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (2):188-205.
Sanity and the Metaphysics of Responsibility.Susan Wolf - 1987 - In Ferdinand David Schoeman (ed.), Responsibility, Character, and the Emotions: New Essays in Moral Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 46-62.
Personal Autonomy and Society.Marina A. L. Oshana - 1998 - Journal of Social Philosophy 29 (1):81-102.
Autonomy and the feminist intuition.Natalie Stoljar - 2000 - In Catriona Mackenzie & Natalie Stoljar (eds.), Relational Autonomy: Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy, Agency, and the Social Self. New York: Oxford University Press.
Nondomination and the Limits of Relational Autonomy.Danielle M. Wenner - 2020 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 13 (2):28-48.

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