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Philosophy | Autonomy and the Self

Autonomy and the Self

Series: Philosophical Studies Series, Vol. 118

Kühler, Michael, Jelinek, Nadja (Eds.)

2013, XXXVI, 328 p.

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  • First anthology within the philosophical debate on autonomy and the self to focus exclusively on their complex relationship to freedom and normative commitments
  • Includes a distinct and instructive confrontation between subjective and intersubjective approaches to personal autonomy
  • Addresses neglected issues concerning the impact of constraints of one's freedom on an agent's (autonomous) self
  • Most up-to-date critical discussion of the most recent developments in Harry Frankfurt's work on autonomy

This volume addresses the complex interplay between the conditions of an agent’s personal autonomy and the constitution of her self in light of two influential background assumptions: a libertarian thesis according to which it is essential for personal autonomy to be able to choose freely how one’s self is shaped, on the one hand, and a line of thought following especially the seminal work of Harry Frankfurt according to which personal autonomy necessarily rests on an already sufficiently shaped self, on the other hand. Given this conceptual framework, a number of influential aspects within current debate can be addressed in a new and illuminating light: accordingly, the volume’s contributions range from 1) discussing fundamental conceptual interconnections between personal autonomy and freedom of the will, 2) addressing the exact role and understanding of different personal traits, e.g. Frankfurt’s notion of volitional necessities, commitments to norms and ideals, emotions, the phenomenon of weakness of will, and psychocorporeal aspects, 3) and finally taking into account social influences, which are discussed in terms of their ability to buttress, to weaken, or even to serve as necessary preconditions of personal autonomy and the forming of one’s self. The volume thus provides readers with an extensive and most up-to-date discussion of various influential strands of current philosophical debate on the topic. It is of equal interest to all those already engaged in the debate as well as to readers trying to get an up-to-date overview or looking for a textbook to use in courses.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Autonomy - Commitment Philosophy - Freedom Philosophy Ethics - Harry Frankfurt Philosophy - Normativity Philosophy Ethics - Personal Autonomy - Self Philosophy

Related subjects » Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility - Philosophy

Table of contents 

Foreword.- Introduction; Michael Kühler, Nadja Jelinek.- Section I: Autonomy and Free Will.- 1. Freedom Without Choice?; Gottfried Seebaß.- 2. Freedom and Normativity – Varieties of Free Will; Barbara Merker.- Section II: Autonomy, the Self, and the Role of Personal Traits.- 3. Norm-Guided Formation of Cares without Volitional Necessity – A Response to Frankfurt; John Davenport.- 4. Dynamics in Autonomy; Nadja Jelinek.- 5. The Normative Significance of Personal Projects; Monika Betzler.- 6. Normative Self-Constitution and Individual Autonomy; John Christman.- 7. Psychocorporeal Selfhood, Practical Intelligence, and Adaptive Autonomy; Diana Tietjens Meyers.- 8. Emotion, Autonomy, and Weakness of Will; Sabine Döring.- 9. Who Am I to Uphold Unrealizable Normative Claims?; Michael Kühler.- Section III: Autonomy and the Self Within Society's Grip.- 10. Paternalistic Love and Reasons for Caring; Bennett W. Helm.- 11. Self-Identity and Moral Agency; Marina Oshana.- 12. Being Identical by Being (Treated as) Responsible; Michael Quante.- 13. Integrity Endangered by Hypocrisy; Nora Hangel.- 14. Who Can I Blame?; Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen.- About the Authors.- Index.

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