By Catriona Mackenzie, Natalie Stoljar
This choice of unique essays explores the social and relational dimensions of person autonomy. Rejecting the feminist cost that autonomy is inherently masculinist, the members draw on feminist evaluations of autonomy to problem and enhance modern philosophical debates approximately organization, identification, and ethical accountability. The essays research the complicated ways that oppression can impair an agent's potential for autonomy, and examine connections, ignored by means of usual debts, among autonomy and different facets of the agent, together with self-conception, self worth, reminiscence, and the mind's eye.
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Extra info for Relational Autonomy: Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy, Agency, and the Social Self
Does a concept become irrevocably shaped by the paradigms that initially configure its usage? I believe that it does not and that autonomy can accordingly be freed of its historically near exclusive association with male biographies and maleidentified traits. Doing so will require systematic rethinking. 11 A particularly feminist appropriation of the concept of autonomy requires narratives of women who strive in paradigmatically or distinctively female situations against patriarchal constraints to express and refashion their deepest commitments and senses of self.
The concern of many of the contributors to this volume is to provide an analysis of the effects of oppressive social contexts on individuals' capacities for autonomy and moral responsibility. In "The Perversion of Autonomy and the Subjection of Women: Discourses of Social Advocacy at Century's End," Lorraine Code turns away from this concern to provide a detailed analysis of the broader social and epistemic contexts within which autonomy is an issue for oppressed agents. In her analysis of these contexts she points to a tension or paradox concerning autonomy.
See Diana T. Meyers, Self, Society, and Personal Choice (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989), for a similar objection. We would argue that this metaphysical objection, as discussed by Friedman, Meyers, and within the literature more generally, arises from certain misunderstandings of hierarchical models. First, the idea that hierarchical views involve an ontological commitment to a metaphysically distinct "true self" there to be discovered misrepresents the process of critical reflection.