Autonomy and Freedom

Neil MacCormick

in Practical Reason in Law and Morality

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780198268772
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191713071 | DOI:

Series: Law, State, and Practical Reason

 Autonomy and Freedom

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This chapter seeks to clarify the place of autonomy in the account of practical reasoning, and to connect it with Kant's idea about the ‘laws of freedom’ characteristic of a liberal state and with Smith's ‘system of natural liberty’ essential to a free market economy. It begins with some further reflections on autonomy, then proceeds to consider how the natural law inheritance may help to understand the argument, and how it leads on to the quite radical ideas about human freedom that Smith and Kant advanced.

Keywords: Kant; laws of freedom; Adam Smith; liberty; free market economy; practical reasoning

Chapter.  8221 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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