Friedman: chapter one


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Friedman: chapter one

  1. 1. Chapter one: A Conception of Autonomy 報告人: 李瑞清 高亞筠 Marilyn Friedman Autonomy, Gender, Politics
  2. 2. Arrangement in This book The Basic Account (1~3) The Social Context (4~5) Intimate Relationships (6~7) The Larger Political System (8~9)
  3. 3. Arrangement in Chapter one The Basic Account Individuality and Sociality Content-Neutral v. Substantive Conceptions of Autonomy Severely Restricted Options and Autonomy Counterexamples
  4. 4. Generally Use… Choices or actions are indifferent as behavior.( p.4) When she refers to, for example, “wants and values,” it can stand in for the full panoply of “pro” or “con” attitudes. Wants, desires, cares, concerns, values, and commitments, and any other attitudes someone may take up with regard to what she experiences, attitudes that might influence her goals, purposes, aims, and intentions, are thereby relevant to autonomy.( p.6)
  5. 5. The Basic Account: What is Personal Autonomy ? In Ordinary People’s Understanding Ex. “True to myself”, doing it “my way”, standing up for “what I believe”, thinking “for myself”, being one’s “own person.” Friedman’s Simple Definition Autonomy is self-determination. Personal autonomy is self-determination by an individual self. An autonomous person is someone who behaves autonomously with relative frequency. An autonomous life is one lived by an autonomous person.
  6. 6. The Basic Account: One Worth-Mentioned Distinction The Constitutive Conditions of Autonomy - The nature of autonomy itself. The Causal Conditions of Autonomy - Required for autonomy to be realized Importance: Appreciating the role that social relationships and cultural context play in the realization of autonomy. See chapter 4 and 5. Q: How to understand this distinction in Friedman’s autonomy basic account? Does Friedman really need this Distinction in her theory?
  7. 7. The Basic Account: The Features of Constitutive Conditions For Choices and Actions to be autonomous, the choosing and acting self as the particular self she is must play a role in determining them. The features constituting her identity must not simply cause her choices and actions as isolated links in causal chains. They must be features that are central enough to she herself, as a whole self.
  8. 8. The Basic Account: Self-reflection Self-determination is in terms of a sort of self- reflection. This notion of self-reflection has involved self- monitoring and self-regulation as well. Friedman: Self-reflection is the process in which, a whole self takes a stance toward particular wants and values she finds herself to have.
  9. 9. The Basic Account: Self-reflection in two senses Autonomous choices and actions are self-reflective: Attentive consideration They are partly caused by a person’s reflections on, or attentive • consideration of, wants and desires that already characterize her. When? – need not be occurred closely prior to the • choices. How? – need not be conscious or extensive, narrowly • cognitive in nature. Need not be highly deliberate or deliberated( p.8 ) Choices without self-reflection doesn’t involve a self in determining • one’s behavior. Mirroring To Mirror someone’s concerns is to accord with them and to promote • them. Choices and Actions mirror wants or valued, promoting its well- being, or protecting it from harm.
  10. 10. The Basic Account: Two other conditions - 1 Ex. Coercion, deception, manipulation. To realize autonomy, self-reflection must also be partly effective in determining someone’s behavior. Self-reflection must not entirely be impeded by interfering condition. Those interfering conditions do not entirely preclude autonomy. The extent to which they undermine so depends on how effective they are.
  11. 11. The Basic Account: Two other conditions - 2 Autonomous actions also stem from what an agent cares deeply about. Relative importance for a particular person is a matter of depth and pervasiveness. • Deep? – wants and values are “deep” when they are abiding and tend to be chosen over other competing wants and values. Also, when they constitute the overarching rationales that an agent regards as justifying many of her more specific choices. • Pervasive? – wants and values are “pervasive” when they are relevant to a great many situations that a person faces. They are frequently salient in someone’s life and she chooses in accord with them often. Q: Self-reflection has already embodied this conditions?
  12. 12. The Basic Account: Some reminders Every want and value could be reaffirmed, however, it’s one’s deeper concerns, not her shallower concerns, that provide the basis for autonomous behavior. Ex. Liking for ice cream or a TV program. X Someone’s initial choices in accordance with any wants and values are not autonomous. Initially she must simply come to choose somewhat consistently so that certain wants or values guide her choices frequently or steadfastly and thereby become “deepened” aspects of her character or identity. Autonomy doesn’t need to be defined in terms of someone’s deepest concerns. Deeper concerns are always open to changes in meaning and may fluctuate in relative importance as she refines them in response to novel circumstances. A person may deepen her prior commitments or forge new ones out of her sense of what had already mattered to her and how the choice she makes transforms her priorities and her identity. Autonomy is a matter of degree. The more extensively one reflects on one’s wants and commitments, the greater is one’s autonomy with respect to them.
  13. 13. The Basic Account: Disagreement with John Chrisman John Christman : If someone goes on to reaffirm her original commitments after recognizing their socialized origin, then, she achieves autonomy with respect to them. This level of self-reflection, provided it motivates action, is sufficient for autonomy. Friedman: A self is at all minimally self-reflective has crossed a threshold of autonomy. Those deeper wants are the motivating concerns that form who she is and that make the actions that issue from them “her own.”
  14. 14. The Basic Account: A Typical Criticism Q: Whether someone can be autonomous if her guiding wants and values are the causal products of upbringing and other processes beyond her control, processes that are therefore not autonomous for her. Friedman: So long as the causes of her behavior include her self in some significant sense( and so long as behavior mirrors that self by according with its deeper commitments), then her behavior is autonomous. • Need not be conscious – So long as a person’s choices reflect and issue from the self-reflections on her deeper wants and values that she undertakes from her overall perspective at some level of thought, they have at least a minimal degree of autonomy • Need not be highly deliberate – It can be occur without explicit contemporaneous self- monitoring. It can occur casually, spontaneously, and rapidly. • Having care, concerns and commitment that constitute a perspective. This perspective is both( at least partly ) definitive of who she is and a ( part ) determinant of what she does. What matters to someone, what she self-reflectively cares about, when effective in and reflected in her action, make her behavior autonomous.
  15. 15. The Basic Account: The Reason-emotion Dichotomy Two traditions: reason v. emotion According to contemporary thinking about rationality, a reason for someone to act in a certain way is either a belief by someone that that action is right or good, or some fact in virtue of which it is right or good. On this approach, there is no reason why features of emotion or character could not constitute reasons, in the sense of facts by virtue of which actions are right or good. According to Bennett Helm, actions that express an agent’s emotions and character can reflect what deeply and overall matters to her in case her emotions and character traits show coherent rational patterns amounting to concern. Reason would no longer contrast with emotion or desire because this use of “reason” departs substantially from its traditional cognitive sense. Whether “ reason” is used either in the narrow or the wider sense, emotions can constitute a kind of reflection on or attention to objects or values of concern. They can contribute to the autonomy of a person’s choices.
  16. 16. The Basic Account: Two Sorts of Identities Someone can be identified by: Perspectival identity – what she cares about or values. Trait-based identity – human kind categories. What counts for autonomy is someone’s perspectival identity. The nonperspectival kinds or traits she instantiates or exemplifies are relevant to her autonomy only if they matter to her.
  17. 17. The Basic Account: With Communitarian Someone’s concern could be the result of circumstances over which she has no control. Ex. Parent, nation. At odds: Communal attachments could not be the basis of the person’s autonomous choices or actions. She might easily be indifferent to some of them.
  18. 18. The Basic Account: Autonomy Competency The relevant capacities include: Capacities for having values and commitments, Understanding them, Taking up valenced attitudes toward them, Making choices and undertaking actions that mirror these commitments, Doing the latter with some resilience in the face of at least minimal obstacles. An autonomous person is one who has these capacities and exercises them at least occasionally.
  19. 19. The Basic Account: An usual objection (see chapter 2) Q: Since a person’s wants and values are the products of socialization, it seems that they are not really the agent’s “own,” and therefore choices based on them would seem to undermine the possibility of a self genuinely determining self. Friedman: My goal is a conception of autonomy that does not apply to any and all actions but that differentiates some actions from others. The idea of someone as the agent of her doings is not undermined, by the fact that those doings had ultimate causal antecedents that were other than the person herself.
  20. 20. The Basic Account: Respond to Harry Frankfurt Frankfurt: “Second-order” self-reflection is privileged over “first-order” wants. Neither attitude has a necessary priority. When those kind of ambivalence happen, it means that her self does not have a clear perspectival identity about the matter in question. Her behavior is therefore not determined by her self in such cases.
  21. 21. The Basic Account: Summarization Choices can be autonomous only if they are self- reflective in two senses and meet at least two other conditions. 1. Self-reflective in the sense of “attentive consideration” 2. Self-reflective in the sense of “mirroring” 3. Wants or values must be important to the actor. 4. Her choices must be relatively unimpeded by interfering conditions. Someone must act from deeper values she has reaffirmed.
  22. 22. Individuality and Sociality: Why the social relationship ought to be discussed? No human competency can be exercised under any set of conditions whatsoever. The necessary enabling conditions The possible disabling conditions Worthily mentioned: The social relationships are necessary causal conditions for autonomy. The point of exploring them is to curb an excessive individualism.
  23. 23. Individuality and Sociality: Sociality is the Ground of Autonomy – 1~3 In 5 ways( at least), autonomy requires a social context for its realization ( see chapter 4 ): 1. Autonomous persons are differentiated selves, they are products of socialization by other selves into communities of interacting selves. 2. Autonomous persons must have the capacities for autonomy. These capacities must be acquired through learning from other persons already able to exercise them, in social practices involving discourse and modes of self-representation. 3. Those meaningful options that autonomous persons face are at least partly matters of social conditions. Also, options are comprehensible to persons in virtue of shared cultural practices of representation and interpretation. Friedman particularly emphasizes above 3 conditions on her account of personal autonomy.
  24. 24. Individuality and Sociality: Sociality is the Ground of Autonomy – 4~5 4. Persons in communities or groups may enjoy autonomy as collectivities. 5. Some philosophers argue that autonomy is a competency the very exercise of which involves certain particular capacities of interpersonal engagement, such as that of being able to give an account to others of oneself and one’s choices, itself a mode of discursive interchange. (Friedman doesn’t construe autonomy competency in terms of the ability to give an account of oneself to others.)
  25. 25. Individuality and Sociality: Individualism Individualism is a problem when it : Promotes selfishness and self-aggrandizement through the domination, oppression, and exploitation of others. Promotes mutual indifference among people by leading its adherents to pursue their own well-being in disregard of the costs they impose on others and to lose the concern for each other that they would otherwise have had, had they accepted different theories about human personality. There may be good reasons to emphasize human individuality in an account of autonomy so long as it doesn’t promote mutual indifference or ruthless selfishness.
  26. 26. Individuality and Sociality: Individuality in Account of Autonomy Q: Why human individuality is important to an account of autonomy? The social matrix is constituted out of a great number of separately embodied human beings. The distinctness of human beings grounds the possibility of attributing to persons a particular identity as well as a degree of separate agency based on her behavior. Practices of behaving autonomously can thus make us more distinct from each other than we are to be begin with. Autonomy further individuates us.
  27. 27. Individuality and Sociality: an Doubt about Atomistic selves Q: Would the individuating tendency of autonomy promote the concept of the atomistic self? Atomistic selves, lacking any prior social relationships to other human beings, are not the bearers of autonomy. Autonomy can not emerge except out of social relationship. It’s individuating in its effects on persons, it never loses its social rootedness.
  28. 28. Individuality and Sociality: Autonomy is a matter of degree Minimally autonomous selves are minimally differentiated and individuated. Someone might have autonomy competency yet not be an autonomous person. The ideal of autonomy thus gives us a normative standpoint for critically assessing oppressive social condition that suppress or prevent the emergence of autonomy: Limiting one’s options at the time of choosing. Damaging one’s capacity to care about what is worth caring about and deforming the nature of a person’s concern for herself.
  29. 29. Content-Neutral versus Substantive Conceptions of Autonomy Substantive one=d.f. one “must choose in accord with the value of autonomy itself, or, at least, choose so as not to undermine that value.” Content-Neutral one=d.f. with no reference to “the content of what a person must choose in order to be autonomous” and “so long as she has made her choice in the right way or it coheres appropriately with her perspective as a whole.” (p.19)
  30. 30. On Friedman’s view, they differ only in degree. Substantive one is content-neutral with “attitude,” namely, “a stable and enduring concern of the agent.” (p.20) THE REAL CONTROVERSY is not which qualifies as the ONLY conception of autonomy; rather, it is over whether the more minimal, content-neutral autonomy counts as genuine autonomy at all. => Where to draw a line that indicates a minimal threshold for autonomy being crossed along the continuum.
  31. 31. Reasons why Content-Neural account is more preferable CN acknowledges the minimal threshold in self-determination, that is, “her behavior reflects what deeply matters to her.” S is implausibly cumbersome. (p.21) CN is sufficient for practice of responsibility and due respect. CN has valuable political implications
  32. 32. CN versus feminist intuition What is feminist intuition? “Preferences influenced by oppressive norms of femininity cannot be autonomous.” (p.24) CN and FI is compatible: diminishing degree of autonomy only. Adaptive preferences does not make autonomous choice and action impossible. Another FI: “however oppressive their conditions might be and however much change is morally required, traditionally subordinate feminine lives nevertheless can and do often nonslavishly embody and express values worth caring about.” (p.25)
  33. 33. Different Conceptions of Autonomy Frankfurt’s model: second-order identification with first-order desires. G. Dworkin: procedure independence. Substantive ones: (A) Strong: “places normative restrictions on the preferences or values that persons can form or act upon autonomously.” (e.g. Oshana-perfectionism) (B) Weak: “autonomy’s normative substance resides in agents’ attitude toward their own authority to speak and answer for their decisions.” (Benson, 2005) Benson: one’s assertion of her authority to speak for her actions. Answer for potential challenges. Christman: Value-Neutral
  34. 34. Benson: Answer for potential challenges (1) embedded in social/interpersonal context. (2) rational capacity to speak/answer • (A) one’s own recognition of possessing the position to speak (self-regard 自重) • (B) others’ recognition **problem: social death& internalization of social invisibility. • ADEQUATE SOCIAL CONDITIONS=SOCIALLY SHARABLE NORMS
  35. 35. Christman: Value-Neutral (1) Adequate reflection: (A) Cross out specific contents of motives and intentions (second-order reflection) (B) Rule out simply replication of oppressive social conditions (2) Embrace/Speak for oneself (“I commit myself to views I judge to be right by expressing them” Christman, p.350) (3) Social context: Mutual empathic respect
  36. 36. Difference between Benson and Christman Benson is skeptical about higher- order reflective endorsement as the core element of autonomy, whereas Christman thinks that autonomy as self-reflection is crucial in the context of liberal political theory.