Autonomy and the emotions

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Autonomy and the emotions

Faculty of Arts and Scieneces
  • Care
  • Freedom
  • éMotions
  • Autonomy
  • Weakness Of Will


Can actions caused by emotions be free and autonomous? The rationalist conception of autonomy denies this. Only actions done in the light of reflective choices can be autonomous and hence free. I argue that the rationalist conception does not make room for akratic actions, that is, free and intentional actions performed against the agent’s best judgement. I then develop an account inspired by Harry Frankfurt and David Shoemaker, according to which an action is autonomous when it is determined by the agent’s most central cares, where cares are defined in terms of emotional dispositions.

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