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CPP Colloquium: "The Normative Implications of Structurally Supported Autonomy"

Thursday 25 May 2023
CPP Colloquia 2022-2023
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

The Centre of Political Philosophy is pleased to announce a lecture by Joel Anderson, chair in Moral Psychology & Social Philosophy and is Director of the Ethics Institute, Utrecht University.

Prof. dr. Joel Anderson

The Normative Implications of Structurally Supported Autonomy

Although an understanding of autonomy that emphasizes freedom from interference is vitally important for diagnosing wrongs of manipulation and domination, this view does not fully encapsulate the complex nature of autonomy. It overlooks the crucial fact that being autonomous is not a solo accomplishment but instead requires – standardly – an array of supporting structures.

Once autonomy is understood as a constellation of capacities needed for leading one’s life – including practical deliberation, self-regulation, self-interpretation, and a critical reflection – it can be seen as requiring support structures for its development and exercise. This is especially true when modern societies place ever-greater demands on individuals for them to be more autonomous.

In this lecture, I illustrate a variety of ways in which autonomy can be supported without being diminished. I also discuss the implications of acknowledging the centrality of structurally supported autonomy, in terms of both the availability of support structures and, recursively, the need for autonomous individuals to ensure the just and effective operation of those institutions and social practices. In particular, I emphasize the obligations generated, in light of this, for those committed to social justice, in particular with regard to the appropriate design, implementation, maintenance, and revision of the support structures and inclusive responses to the growing demands for autonomy-capacity that are associated with ongoing changes in our practices, technologies, and policies.

About the Center for Political Philosophy (CPP) Colloquia Series

The CPP is a collaboration between the Institute for Philosophy and the Institute for Political Science at Leiden University. Attendance of the Colloquia is free and there is no need to register. See CPP for more information. For further questions please contact dr. Tim Meijers at t.meijers@hum.leidenuniv.nl

All are welcome!

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