Values of Autonomy

Marilyn Friedman

in Autonomy, Gender, Politics

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780195138504
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785902 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

 Values of Autonomy

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This chapter presents a variety of considerations suggesting that autonomy is a valuable ideal, focusing on its value for (many) women. The focus is on women for several reasons. First, autonomy has not always been idealized for women. Even though autonomy is more widely encouraged and supported in women than ever before, it is still not regarded as a particularly feminine value or virtue. If a case for autonomy can be made out for women in particular against this history, then the case for autonomy in general should prove easier to secure. Second, feminist philosophers have figured prominently among those who have expressed doubts and reservations about the value of autonomy. Focusing on the case of women's autonomy in particular helps to answer those criticisms.

Keywords: personal autonomy; feminism; women; value; virtue

Chapter.  12091 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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