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

By John Christman, Joel Anderson

In recent times the recommendations of person autonomy and political liberalism were the topics of extreme 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 concerning either the idea of the self sustaining self and the character and justification of liberalism. Written by way of best figures in ethical, felony and political conception, the amount covers inter alia the next issues: 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 foundations of liberalism.

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Suppose, though, that late one night as I am walking home, a City Harvest Robin Hood threatens me with a knife Decentralizing Autonomy: Five Faces of Selfhood 35 and demands my wallet. Preferring safety over the meager contents of my wallet, I relinquish my money. Although my action conforms with my values and past practices, I don’t regard it as autonomous, for, however worthy the cause, I was forced to hand over my cash. In the aftermath, I might console myself by reflecting that I would have sent them at least that much anyway.

Liberal writers who show sensitivity to these challenges (in some form) include Donald Moon, Constructing Community: Moral Pluralism and Tragic Conflicts (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993) and Bert van den Brink, The Tragedy of Liberalism. For an overview discussion, see John Christman, Social and Political Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction, chapter 7. See, for example, Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), 1982; Nell Noddings, Caring: A Feminist Approach to Ethics and Moral Education (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1984); Michael Sandel, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice ; and Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press, 1984).

Finally, the City Harvest Robin Hood is a stranger, and this mugger could not have known whether I needed that money for some other compelling purpose. But the self-as-relational and the self-as-embodied are not strangers. Indeed, they are more than acquaintances. 12 The same goes for the self-as-social and the self-as-divided. All in all, then, the gulf between me and effective agentic power seems far wider in the City Harvest Robin Hood scenario than it does in my real-life experiences. 36 Diana Tietjens Meyers For these reasons, I think it would be unwise to short-circuit inquiry by declaring my experiences heteronomous.

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