Test 2aaa

Test 2aaa - I Basics of autonomy A Remember that a large...

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I. Basics of autonomy A. Remember that a large part of Kant’s theory involved the connection between autonomy and morality. He believes that we owe people respect because they are rational, just like we are. For Kant, rationality and autonomy (freedom) are the same thing. To be rational is to be moral; to be moral is to be autonomous; to be autonomous is to be rational. It all fits together. In other words, humans deserve to be treated with dignity because they are rational beings. 1. For Kant, this meant that animals (or any other non-rational thing/being) do not automatically deserve respect from us. Without rationality, they do not make choices freely anyway, so we do not need to respect their ability to do so. 2. It also means that we cannot make someone do the right thing. We must allow them to be moral or immoral on their own. We may not like the choices that others make, but as long as they are rational, we must respect their ability to make choices. Of course, constantly irrational actions (e.g. mental illness, like schizophrenia) would be a sign that a person is NOT rational. B. Autonomy means self-rule (57). Think about this definition for a minute because it is not the same as just doing anything you want. Does a drug addict have autonomy? Does an Alzheimer’s patient? 1. “Personal autonomy is, at a minimum, self-rule that is free from both controlling interference by others and from limitations, such as inadequate understanding, that prevent meaningful choice. The autonomy individual acts freely in accordance with a self-chosen plan.” (58). Again, think about what ‘self-chosen’ means. 2. This means that in order to have autonomy, we must have liberty (lack of external coercion) and agency (ability to act on our intentions). Compare this to positive and negative rights. C. Following the book, we will look at autonomy in terms of “normal choosers who act (1) intentionally, (2) with understanding, and (3) without controlling influences that determine their action” (pg. 59). 1. Intentionality is not a matter of degree. You either have it or you don’t.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHL 204 taught by Professor Sharp during the Spring '08 term at Alabama.

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Test 2aaa - I Basics of autonomy A Remember that a large...

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