Personal autonomy and related concepts

Abstract

Part I. The book begins with literary, cinematic, and historical scenarios that exemplify personal autonomy. Meyers uses these vignettes to distinguish personal autonomy from other, variously related types of autonomy and to show that other kinds of autonomy cannot adequately address the concern people have with their own personal decisions. Noting how profoundly social experience impinges on self-discovery, self-definition, and self-direction, Meyers characterizes autonomous individuals as persons who do what they really want, and she undertakes to supply an account of an authentic self that acknowledges people's enmeshment in social relations as well as their psychological complexity.

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Diana Meyers
University of Connecticut

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