Personal identity, individual autonomy and group rights


Authors
Caroline West
University of Sydney
Abstract
It is a commonplace in liberal circles that individual persons have a right to individual autonomy or self-determination. Each mentally competent adult has a right to be at liberty to live and shape their own life in accordance with their own view about what makes for a good life, free from undue coercion or interference by others, so long as they do not harm others. In the words of John Stuart Mill, mentally-competent persons should have the liberty of “framing the plan of our life to suit our own character, of doing as we like, subject to such consequences as may follow, without impediment from our fellow creatures, so long as what we do does not harm them, even though they may think our conduct foolish, perverse or wrong”.
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