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Personal Autonomy: New Essays on Personal Autonomy and its Role in Contemporary Moral Philosophy 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521732345
ISBN-10: 0521732344
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'This collection brings together the most important new work being done on personal autonomy today. Its distinguished list of contributors explain and develop their approaches to the central problems of autonomy both in theory and in practice. This work will surely become the standard textbook on autonomy for philosophy students today.' John Davenport, Fordham University

Book Description

Autonomy has recently become one of the central concepts in contemporary moral philosophy and has generated much debate over its nature and value. This is the first volume to bring together original essays that address the theoretical foundations of the concept of autonomy, as well as essays that investigate the relationship between autonomy and moral responsibility, freedom, political philosophy, and medical ethics. Written by some of the most prominent philosophers working in these areas today, this book represents cutting-edge research on the nature and value of autonomy that will be essential reading for a broad swathe of philosophers as well as many psychologists.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (August 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521732344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521732345
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,592,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This is a great collection of new papers by some outstanding philosophers. It includes papers by Michael Bratman, Bernard Berofsky, Susan Wolf, Ishtiyaque Haji, Paul Benson, Nomy Arpaly, John Christman, Al Mele, Laura Waddell Ekstrom, Marina A.L. Oshana, R. G. Frey, Tom Beauchamp, Tom May, and Robert Noggle. The book is divided into three sections: Theoretical Approaches to Personal Autonomy, Autonomy, Freedom, and Moral Responsibility, and Expanding Role of Personal Autonomy. (This last section has papers on political philosophy, medical ethics, and the rights of animal and subnormal humans.) It also includes an Introduction by Taylor that covers the development of discussions of autonomy in theory and practice since John Christman's Inner Citadel. I'm still reading, but so far this is looking like it was worth dipping into the stipend for!
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Format: Hardcover
I've recently used this collection in a graduate seminar on individual autonomy and found it invaluable: together with some older articles from *The Inner Citadel* and Al Mele's book, it formed the backbone of the course. I'd also use the book for an undergraduate elective. The introduction is extremely helpful in charting the development of autonomy theory in analytic moral psychology since Frankfurt and Dworkin's essays some 36 years ago. All the essays are new, though some summarize the views developed by their authors over a larger body of work (e.g. Mele and Wolf). The volume includes a number of essays representating more rationalist and proceduralist ends of the spectrum, as well as coherence theories such as Ekstrom's. The essays on autonomy and free agency are all innovative, though I wish the contributors took the kind of autonomy to be analyzed as the freedom/control condition of responsibility for character. The book also includes four essays looking at applications of personal autonomy concepts to debates in political philosophy and bioethics. For more discussions focused on implications for political philosophy, one can turn to the collection by Christman and Anderson, which forms a great companion to James Taylor's volume.
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