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Against Autonomy

Justifying Coercive Paternalism

Against Autonomy by Sarah Conly
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Since Mill's seminal work On Liberty, philosophers and political theorists have accepted that we should respect the decisions of individual agents when those decisions affect no one other than themselves. Indeed, to respect autonomy is often understood to be the chief way to bear witness to the intrinsic value of persons. In this book, Sarah Conly rejects the idea of autonomy as inviolable. Drawing on sources from behavioural economics and social psychology, she argues that we are so often irrational in making our decisions that our autonomous choices often undercut the achievement of our own goals. Thus in many cases it would advance our goals more effectively if government were to prevent us from acting in accordance with our decisions. Her argument challenges widely held views of moral agency, democratic values and the public/private distinction, and will interest readers in ethics, political philosophy, political theory and philosophy of law.
Cambridge University Press; November 2012
224 pages; ISBN 9781139854153
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Title: Against Autonomy
Author: Sarah Conly
  • News
It's For Your Own Good! - The New York Review of Books
Fri, 15 Feb 2013 06:42:35 -0800
The New York Review of BooksIt's For Your Own Good!The New York Review of BooksIn the United States, as in many other ...
NE Academic Urges US to Enforce Mandatory One-Child Policy - Newsmax
Tue, 03 Nov 2015 15:55:59 -0800
NE Academic Urges US to Enforce Mandatory One-Child PolicyNewsmaxIn an op-ed published Monday in the Boston Globe, Sarah Conly, ...
'It's For Your Own Good!' - The New York Review of Books
Fri, 05 Apr 2013 15:47:16 -0700
'It's For Your Own Good!'The New York Review of BooksIn his revealing review of Sarah Conly's Against Autonomy: ...
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