Relational Autonomy: Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy, by Catriona Mackenzie, Natalie Stoljar

By Catriona Mackenzie, Natalie Stoljar

This selection 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 opinions of autonomy to problem and increase modern philosophical debates approximately company, identification, and ethical accountability. The essays examine the advanced ways that oppression can impair an agent's skill for autonomy, and examine connections, ignored by means of regular debts, among autonomy and different features of the agent, together with self-conception, self esteem, reminiscence, and the mind's eye.

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Additional resources for Relational Autonomy: Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy, Agency, and the Social Self

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I. Benn, "Individuality, Autonomy and Community," in Community as a Social Ideal, ed. Eugene Kamenka (New York: St Martin's Press, 1982), and "Freedom, Autonomy and the Concept of a Person," Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 76 (1976): 109-130; Gerald Dworkin, "Acting Freely," Nous 3 (1970): 367-383, and The Theory and Practice of Autonomy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988); Joel Feinberg, "Autonomy," in The Inner Citadel: Essays on Individual Autonomy, ed. John Christman (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989); Robert Young, "Autonomy and Socialisation," MW84 (1980): 565-576, and Personal Autonomy: Beyond Negative and Positive Liberty (London: Groom Helm, 1986).

If anything, it has added a romantic allure to his biography. Narratives of this sort suggest that autonomy in practice is antithetical to women's interests because it prompts men to desert the social relationships on which many women depend for the survival and well-being of themselves and their children. In the past, because of women's restricted opportunities, the loss of support suffered by abandoned women has often been worse than the heterosexual relationships on which they depended. Men are supposed to "stand up like a man" for what they believe or value, including the simple assertion of their self-interests.

56 Lacking this sense of self-worth is quite compatible with agents retaining their "power to put [their] will into effect" and hence is quite compatible with agents retaining the capacities and undergoing the processes required by procedural theories. 58 Both kinds of substantive accounts articulate convincing responses to apparent counterexamples to procedural accounts. They also provide a good starting point in explaining why agents who are operating within oppressive institutions and structures exhibit failures of autonomy.

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