Autonomy as a Rational Ethical Subject

Topics: Morality, Autonomy, Ethics Pages: 8 (2565 words) Published: December 12, 2013
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Autonomy as a Rational Ethical Subject

Introduction

Individual Autonomy implies the ability to be oneself, to live oneself life based on personal will and interests and not the creation of outside manipulative forces. Autonomy is normally viewed as a basic moral as well as a political value. The concept emphasizes on an individual’s capability to govern him/her, independent of his/her position in metaphysical form or his/her responsibility in the social point of view and political is more as a subject of humanism, on which the present-day moderate political philosophy is an outcome (Schneewind 482). The fact that moral standards and responsibilities in addition to legality of political power, should be grounded in the independent character, introduces skeptics from various quarters. In simple terms, being autonomous means being one’s own person, as guided by self desires, concerns, situations, and characters that are not inflicted by the outside factors, but are a component of what is regarded as one’s authentic self. Individuals personae are a priori to the persons they become through the individual's innate personality. This perspective of human beings; that individuals are persons based on the personae which are created for their ethomimetric praxis, was avoided by the typical anthropological custom whereby culture was different from human. It did not consider the fact that the purpose of culture was to provide the personae for the individuals to become persons (Schneewind 483).

Concept of Autonomous Rationable Substance

Autonomous rational substance is very significant in the theoretical descriptions of persons, formation of moral duties and responsibilities, and the validation of social policies and various political theory aspects; mainly about ethics or moral philosophy. Autonomy forms the base of the Kantian formation of the practical explanation and relates to elements of moral duty. It is also viewed as the aspects of individuals that control paternalistic inventions in an individual’s life (Christman Para 2). Autonomy is very significant in the theory of education and policy, on a number of issues stressing the major objective of liberal teachings. In addition, despite numerous feminists reservations based on the principle of autonomy, it is at times viewed as an important conceptual aspect in some feminist principles for instance the discovery and eradication of social factors that oppress the females and other susceptible individuals (Christman Para 3).

Ethics is a structure of moral principles. Autonomy is the key to certain ethical structures, both as a replica of the moral individual; the nature of an individual by virtue of which he/she is morally obliged. And as an attribute of persons which position other’s responsibilities to them. According to Kant, the individual imposition of the common moral rule is the basis of moral responsibility in general as well as the esteem individuals owe to others (Schneewind 3). In simple terms, it implies, the individuals’ ability to reason when choosing their own actions assuming that they understand their freedom (Schneewind 3). The self inflictition of the ethical law is what is referred to as autonomy. The law should not have content provided by desire or sense, it should be universal. This means that by virtue of individuals being autonomous, they should act only on the saying that they can consistently have desires as universal laws. Autonomous means self worth, in that individuals must be able to have confidence in their decision making abilities and be responsible. Individuals owe to themselves the ethical principles; self respect based on their autonomy. Thus they are obliged to act in accordance to the fundamental respect for other individuals as a result of their autonomy. This therefore implies that autonomy serves as a model of practical basis in the establishment of moral...

Cited: Christman, John. "Autonomy in moral and political philosophy." Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (2008).
Rawls, John. A theory of justice. Belknap Press, 1999.
Sandel, Michael J. Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Schneewind, Jerome B. The Invention of Autonomy: A History of Modern Moral Philosophy. Cambridge [u.a.: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2005. Print.
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