Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism: New Essays by John Christman, Joel Anderson

By John Christman, Joel Anderson

Lately the recommendations of person autonomy and political liberalism were the topics of excessive debate, yet those discussions have happened mostly inside of separate educational disciplines. Autonomy and the demanding situations to Liberalism comprises essays dedicated to foundational questions relating to either the idea of the self reliant self and the character and justification of liberalism. Written via best figures in ethical, criminal and political thought, the amount covers inter alia the subsequent subject matters: the character of the self and its relation to autonomy, the social dimensions of autonomy and the political dynamics of admire and popularity, and the concept that of autonomy underlying the rules of liberalism.

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2 of Philosophical Papers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 211–29. For discussion of this difficulty, see Christman, “Introduction” to The Inner Citadel (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 11. Earlier discussion of this issue can be found in Marilyn Friedman, “Autonomy and the Split-Level Self,” Southern Journal of Philosophy, vol. 24, no. 1 ( 1986) 19–35, and Irving Thalberg, “Hierarchical Analyses of Unfree Action,” in The Inner Citadel, 123–36. ). , 65f. This charge takes many forms, from focusing on how advertising subverts supposedly free-market behavior to the manner in which public interchange has become subverted by the dominance of corporate and ideological structuring.

Indeed, I experienced no introspectable decision-making process at all. Nevertheless, instead of concluding that my autonomy was compromised, I shall suggest that the self-as-relational and the self-as-embodied sometimes function as agents of autonomous self-discovery, self-definition, and self-direction. 7 My first case focuses on the self-as-relational. A few years ago, I learned that I had developed a metabolic condition that requires me to restrict my diet. Alas, I love good food. There are almost no foods I don’t enjoy, and I’ve always enjoyed the conviviality of eating with friends.

6 What I mean to convey by the “self-as” terminology is that each of these conceptions represents a focus of attention, a dimension of subjective life, and a way of framing a self-understanding or a project. Accordingly, these expressions should not be viewed as mirroring ontology, but rather as labeling phenomenological and epistemological perspectives. It is important to note as well that in the social-scientific and philosophical literature, these five conceptions of the self are not as discrete as I have made them seem for the purposes of my argument in this chapter.

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